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Rare Gustave Vichy Automaton of a Drunkard in a Barrel

Auction:
2345
Lot:
592
Sold for:
$14,100$12,000

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

Description:

Rare Gustave Vichy Automaton of a Drunkard in a Barrel, with papier-mâché head, brown paperweight eyes with lashes, articulated mouth with sharp teeth, rosy cheeks, chin and upturned nose, painted metal hands and stomach formed as a papier-mâché barrel containing the two-air going-barrel mechanism with "acorn" stop / start, in the original iridescent blue silk tailcoat over winged collar, silk brocade waistcoat, oversized bowtie, polychrome striped breeches, striped stocking and papier-mache clogs, ht. 19 in., six movements.
Note: The drunkard looks from side to side and nods his head, his right arm raises a carafe to his lips, he tilts his head back to drain the last drops, and then repeats the action twice, opening and closing his mouth as though singing and rubbing his barrel stomach with satisfaction. One of the more surreal automata produced by Vichy, the automaton contains elements, such as the carafe, barrel and clogs, from other Vichy automata. (See Lot 597 in this auction and Lot 348 in Science & Technology, 3 November 2005 for another interpretation of a drinker. There are believed to be only three surviving examples of this piece, which does not appear in the maker's catalogue. Apart from minor wear to the paint and fabric, the automaton is in excellent original condition.
Estimate $6,000-8,000

Keywords

Gustave Vichy Automaton, papier-mâché head , metal hands, Automata, Automaton, Robotics