Musical automaton "Dark-skinned young man - cigar smoker"

    Musical automaton "Dark-skinned young man - cigar smoker"

    circa 1880

    Vichy ?

    Paper, wood, bone, metal, shellac, nacre, fabric (velvet, silk, cotton, felt), rock crystal; painting, turning

    Height 64.4 cm

    Inscription on paper label on the stand front side: "Carmen Chanson du Toreador/Victoria Valse"


    Automaton is a figure of a dark-skinned young man with a cigar in his right hand, and a cane in his left. Stand is wooden, on round chiseled feet, covered with emerald-dark velvet; the perimeter is decorated with metal edging. High black stool on a chiseled leg is fixed on it. Paper label with the list of tunes: "Carmen Chanson du Toreador / Victoria Valse" is on the front side of the stand under the velvet cover. Young man is dressed in red silk jacket. Silk light cream-colored shirt with drapery and silvery rock crystal in the form of buttons, the shirt collar is complemented with a bow. Pale yellow silk waistcoat fastened by two buttons is put on over the shirt. Black felt cylinder with silk ribbon and a bow on the left side is on his head. He is wearing black silk culottes with ribbons on the sides, black knee high socks and silk shoes, decorated with bowknots.

    The movement is wound with a key on the rear side of the stand and activated by a lever. While two tunes are played, the man raises and lowers his left leg, brings the cigar to his mouth and inhales. He holds the cane, with a pearl tip in his left hand and moves it from side to side.