Musical automaton "Magician"

    Musical automaton "Magician"


    Circa 1890

    Biscuit, metal, fabric, papier-mâché; mechanical works, painting on biscuit, sewing, casting

    Height 27.5 cm


    Figure of an illusionist, dressed in jacket and short trousers of light blue fabric stands on quadrangular pedestal, covered with green velvet. Jacket with lace cuffs is embroidered with cord from metallic thread. Wicker collar with white fringe. Brown wig is on the biscuit head. The illusionist is wearing satin high conical cap with metal cord ornaments. His black eyes, eyelashes and eyebrows are drawn. The illusionist holds a scarf of rough dark fabric in his right hand, and a magic wand in his left hand. A table covered with a green tablecloth with a light fringe is in front of him.
    Rectangular woven golden frame with black field inside is on the table in front of him. Fixed crown and movement activating lever are on the pedestal bottom part.
    When the movement is activated, the illusionist covers the golden frame on the table with his handkerchief, nods his head, and waves a magic wand. Then he raises his handkerchief, and the audience sees four playing cards, four aces. The handkerchief goes down, he repeats the passes, the handkerchief rises, and only three aces remain on the table. Then one card is left, and, finally all cards disappear. The performance is accompanied by the music. Movement with a cylinder and a sound comb.