Automaton “The Chinese opium smoker"

    Automaton “The Chinese opium smoker"


    circa 1880

    Gustave Vichy

    Papier-mache, fabric (silk, wool), beads; painting

    H. 76 cm


      Аigure of a man with a smoking pipe in his right hand is on the ornately shaped wooden stand. The stand is covered with dark golden velvet. The man is dressed in a wide sleeves silk kimono with sky and pale green flowers with embroidered images of birds and floral ornament. Floors kimono slot, the collar and cuffs are decorated with silk cloth, copper, black and light blue colours with a metallic braid. Around the waist the light grey silk belt framed with black silk edging is tied. It is decorated with geometric and floral ornaments in dark blue and brown. Golden silk pants are under the kimono. White wool socks in the tone zone are on the feet. Black silk hat with wide brim and a triangular top adorned with silver and black beads with a geometric design and also silver cascading beads on the end is his head. The head is made of papier-mache. The music movement is hidden inside. A key that winds the movement and a lever for activating the tune are on the right side of the trunk. The automaton plays one tune, during which the man throws his head up, then turns his head from side to side, brings a pipe to his mouth, breathes in and out the fume. He closes and opens his eyes and raises his left hand.