Musical automaton "Little schoolboy in dunce cap"

    Musical automaton "Little schoolboy in dunce cap"

    France, Paris


    Vichy, Gustave

    Papier-mache, wood (walnut, beech, pine), fabric (silk, velvet, cotton), leather, gypsum, straw, natural hair, bugles; painting

    Height 53 cm


    Seated upon wooden school bench is a child with papier mache head having very expressive unhappy features, with glass eyes, closed mouth modeled as though crying, brunette mohair wig under papier mache dunce cap with ears, carton torso and legs in the seated pose, hinged right hip, bisque hands. He wears his original schoolboy costume in rich vibrant colors including striped stockings and fitted shoes, carries a handkerchief and school slate, and has well-stocked wicker lunch basket beside him on the bench.

    The automaton features two tunes and six movements: the boy turns his head quickly from side-to-side, then upward, he lifts his right arm, then his left, as though uncertain whether to continue his bad behavior or get down to studying. Periodically his ears flap up and down and he taps the school bench with his left foot. Music plays throughout.