Gustave Vichy Monkey Harpist Automaton
- Sold for:
- Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2419
- Date / Time :
- August 23, 2008 10:00AM
Gustave Vichy Monkey Harpist Automaton, with papier-mache head, amber glass eyes with articulated lids, articulated jaw and upper lip, bone teeth and shapely metal paws, seated before wood and gilt-brass fourteen-string harp with lion's head capital, the two-air going barrel mechanism causing the monkey to turn and nod his head, blink and chatter as though singing as he raises each paw alternately in lifting and plucking motion created by articulation at shoulders and elbows, in the original elaborate olive-green satin brocade jacket with pierced gilt buttons, crimson silk waistcoat edged in metal-thread braid, knee-length gold breeches, satin pumps, felt tricorn hat and white wig, ht. 17 1/2 in., (harp missing a string, some wear in costume), with "acorn" stop/start and iron key stamped GV.
Provenance: The Dina Vierney Collection, Sotheby's London, 1996.
Note: A well-preserved example of a classic Vichy automaton depicting an elegant monkey-person in 18th century dress who apes the court fashion for musicians to wear monkey masks while performing.