Musical automaton “Clowns acrobates“

    Musical automaton “Clowns acrobates“

    France, Paris


    Roullet & Decamps

    Wood, fabric, papier-mâché; painting, sewing, mechanical works

    43 x 52 x 120 cm, 12 kg

    Automaton in the form of two clowns performing a power acrobatic act is installed on rectangular stand covered with Bordeaux velvet cloak. A dumbbell and a load with ring are laying on the stand. The upper acrobat rests his hands on the raised arms of the bottom one. He is dressed in satin clown’s suit with fluffy sleeves and wide bloomers of orange and purple colours, with lace cuffs and collar, brown velvet waistcoat with triangular cutouts trimmed with motley braid and narrow brown ribbon. The lower acrobat is wearing orange-purple clown’s suit with lace collar and cuffs. Dark red vest with folded frills is decorated with golden crochet, metal buttons and white twisted cord. Red knitted stockings and white leather shoes with light blue bows trimmed with gold braid are on the feet of both clowns. Make-up is on the faces of both clowns. The first clown's eyes are blue and he is wearing red wig; the second one's eyes are brown, the wig is gray. The heads and hands are made of papier-mâché.

    An aperture for the detachable crank and the movement trigger are on the rear side. After the movement is activated, the performance begins. The upper acrobat is smoothly pressing to horizontal handstand, then bends the legs at a right angle and passes to the vertical handstand. After a short pause, the acrobats release right hands and the upper one, standing on one hand, deflects the body to the left. Then all elements are executed in the reverse order. During the performance, the acrobats’ head are in motion – they seem to look around, look at each other and at the audience. The movements are accompanied by the sounds of musical movement with cylinder for four tunes and sound comb.