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Fine Automaton of a Shepherdess by Gustave Vichy

Auction:
2345
Lot:
594
Sold for:
$12,925$11,000

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

Description:

Fine Automaton of a Shepherdess by Gustave Vichy, circa 1880, with Francois Gaultier bisque head impressed F. 1. G., straight neck, closed mouth with delicate outline, fixed blue glass eyes, feathered brows, dimpled chin, pierced ears with earrings, original curly blonde mohair wig, bisque shoulderplate and forearms, seated in mossy papier-mâché landscape beneath a tree with spreading fabric leaves and chestnuts, her feet resting on a papier-mache lamb like a cushion, flanked by grazing sheep and goat, the going-barrel movement in the base playing two airs (a waltz and a polka) and causing the shepherdess to look from side to side and strum her mandoline in time to the music, in the original ribbed olive-green velvet jacket with lace-edged sleeves over ruched ivory bodice, mustard striped silk underskirt with beribboned wine-red overlay, matching straw bonnet decorated with flowers, striped stocking and upturned papier-mache clogs, ht. 16 in., two movements, with early Vichy key, stop / start, tune-sheet and three brass pin feet on underside of base, on ebonized base under original glass dome, total ht. 20 in., (good movement and tone)
Provenance: This automaton has been passed down from daughter to daughter through the family of the original owner. The glass dome has helped to preserve her original costume, mechanical and musical functions in near-perfect condition.

Literature: Bailly, Automata, the Golden Age, p. 90.
Estimate $10,000-15,000

Keywords

Gustave Vichy, Francois Gaultier, bisque head , original owner