Musical automaton “The Cats tea party”

    Musical automaton “The Cats tea party”

    Circa 1892

    Wood, fur, metal, paper, fabric (velvet); sewing, carving, painting, carpentry, mechanical work, turning

    23 x 31 x 28 cm, 1.5 kg


    Musical automaton in the form of five pussycats sitting on stools near the round table, mounted on wooden stand with six side facets, covered with brown velvet, with the top panel covered with printed paper and finished with red velvet along the edge, on four turned legs. The kittens with movable heads, mouths, paws and tails are made of white rabbit fur. Tea cups with saucers, two teapots and sugar bowl, made of wood with metal wire details stand on blue velvet tablecloth in front of the figures. The control cam mechanism and music mechanism with pinned metal cylinders, steel sound comb and hand operated gear are housed in the stand, with activating handle on the front panel.
    When the handle is rotated, the kitties imitate a tea party and lively conversation: their heads turn from side to side, tilt and rise, their left paws gesticulate, their right paws with cups or teapots move, their mouths open and close, their tails move. During the action the melody of the song "Daisy Bell” (Bicycle Built for Two) by the British poet and composer Harry Dacre (06.09.1857 - 1922), written in 1892, is played.