Musical automaton with three dolls

    Musical automaton with three dolls


    The 1900-1920s

    Schoenau & Hoffmeister Porzellanfabrik

    Wood, metal, papier-mâché, fabric (silk); sewing, mechanical work, biscuit painting, woodcarving

    33 x 36 x 19 cm

    Marks on heads rear side in the form of a five-pointed star with the letters “PB” inside and letters “SH” outside the star, above the numbers "4600/13"


    Three figurines are fixed on the low wooden stand, resting on four chiselled legs. The sides of the stand are lined with printed-paper and a narrow strip of paper with floral pattern borders the upper side. A porcelain crank of the automaton manual drive is on the stand front side. Two figurines are placed in the foreground on the right and left sides. The third figurine is placed at the back of the stand, in the center. The heads of the dolls are made of biscuit porcelain and hand-painted. The eyes are all glassy, blue. The hands are carved from wood and flesh-coloured. The dolls’ wooden legs with painted blue slippers, decorated with metal sequins in the form of flowers, are painted white. The left figure is dressed in a fluffy dress made of striped fabric in grey shades. The cuffs and round collar are lace. Light hat with wavy brim decorated with lace is on her head. The wig is made of natural dark hair. The central figure is dressed in an orange and goldish coloured suit. Light-coloured waistcoat is under the coat with wide satin lapels and puffed sleeves. The shirt with a stand-up collar is decorated with a lace jabot and red bow. The cuffs of the sleeves and turn-ups of the short trousers are decorated with lace. A soft velvet hat with the brim decorated with goldish flat wire braid and wide band around the crown is on her head. She holds a bouquet of pink flowers in her right hand.

    The wig is made of natural brown hair. The figure on the right-hand side wears a jacket and short trousers made of blue and red fabric and trimmed with light lace and braid. A hat with a meshy crown and wide silvery brim decorated with blue braid is on its head. The wig is made of natural blonde curled hair.

    The musical mechanism with metal cylinder, sound comb and manual drive, mounted in the stand, is connected to the figures by wire control rods. The figures move by turning the crank - the left hand puppet is moving its arms forward; the center and right hand puppets synchronously turn their heads and move their right hands. The movement is accompanied by the sounds of musical mechanism.