Musical automaton "Levitation"

    Musical automaton "Levitation"


    Henry Phalibois

    Mahogany, metal, fabric (silk, velvet, chiffon, cotton), paper, feathers; painting, embroidering, carpentry, mechanical work

    100 х 80 х 74 cm


    Depicting an illusionist performing a levitation on his female assistant, both figures with papier-mâché heads and glass eyes with articulated eyelids, the gentleman with articulated jaw, wand and a hoop, in evening dress, the lady in décolleté emerald satin gown and crêpe mantle, on wood base containing going-barrel motor driving nine boxwood cams and sublime-harmony cylinder movement. The hypnotist blinks and moves his mouth as though speaking to his assistant who gently lowers her eyelids and falls into a trance. He directs with his wand as she rises slowly until apparently suspended in mid-air and then, with a circular motion, he passes the hoop across her body. After several seconds, the lady descends to the bench, opens her eyes and fans herself as if unaware of what has taken place.