Musical automaton “Bicyliste Coquette”

    Musical automaton “Bicyliste Coquette”


    Circa 1895

    Roullet & Decamps

    Wood, biscuit, metal, leather, rubber, fabric (velvet, silk, felt), beads; biscuit painting, mechanical work, sewing, nickel-plating

    34 x 23 x 44 cm, 6 kg


    Miniature model of a bicycle with the figure of female cyclist is mounted on rectangular wooden base, wrapped in red velvet. A trellis of artificial flowers on wire lattice and a signpost with the address 104, rue Saint-Dominique in Paris is to her left. She is wearing peach-coloured satin dress with puffed sleeves, broad collar, lace cuffs and shirt-frill. Her hands and head are made from biscuit porcelain. The girl wears light color fedora with satin ribbon on her head; tall white leather boots with lacing are on her feet. The realistic bike parts are nickel-plated and polished. Rubber tyres are fitted with nipples. The bike wheels are positioned on wide ribbon of the moving platform. The spring motor and music mechanism with pinned cylinder and sound comb are fixed inside the pedestal, with the keyhole and activating lever on its rear side. The Vaucanson chain transmits movement from the motor to the bike pedals. The pedals are connected to the rear wheel by the same chain and to the front wheel by the belt drive. When the mechanism is switched on, the girl spins the pedals, turns her head to the right and to the left, the wheels of the bicycle roll on the moving platform. The moement is accompanied by music. This automaton was probably used to promote the "Au Prince Albert" shoe shop, which was located at the address indicated on the post. Winding key is in the set.