Skinner

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Rare Early Magician Automaton by Théroude

Auction:
2345
Lot:
567
Sold for:
$24,675$21,000

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Auction:
Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2345
Location:
Boston
Date / Time :
July 29, 2006 10:00AM

Description:

Rare Early Magician Automaton by Théroude, with gesso-over-wood head, curled black silk wig, articulated eyes and lower jaw, standing with a silvered cup in each hand behind a table with turned and painted legs, the brass top with painted design of dark blue scrolls and flowers on a pale blue ground, the front and sides draped in velvet and decorated with gilt mounts and metal-thread braid, on velvet-covered stage and ebonized base containing the two-air pull-string cylinder movement and going-barrel automaton movement with pinned barrel driving six runners, in original cream satin costume edged in Dresden paper and metal-thread, black silk hat with feather, and green Turkish slippers, (costume fragile, good movements), six independent movements, ht. 17 in. under glass dome,

Note: The magician turns his head from side to side and then looks down at the table, his eyes moving from left to right and his mouth opening as though mumbling, as he lifts both cups simultaneously to reveal a sequence of six changes: nothing on the left and a die on right, nothing on the right and a die on left, three balls and a loaf of bread, an apple and three balls, two pears, and then nothing.

Active from around 1831 - 1872, Alexandre Théroude was one of the earliest makers in the golden age of the French automaton. Although his work is sometimes mistaken for that of Phalibois, with which it shares some similarities, Theroude's automata are generally smaller and more delicate, and the unusual choice of items under this magician's cups is characteristic of Theroude's whimsical sense of humor.
Estimate $12,000-18,000

Keywords

Note, metal-thread braid, magician , Dresden, metal-thread, Automata, Automaton, Robotics