Musical automaton "Elegant lady harpist"

    Musical automaton "Elegant lady harpist"

    France, Paris

    circa 1865

    Alexandre Theroude

    Papier-mache, porcelain, wood, metal, fabric, fabric; sewing, mechanical works, painting

    Height 48 cm

    On the nape: “DÈPOSE TÊTE JUMEAU”. Нhandwritten inscription on the mounting plate: “Femme”


    Seated at the side of finely carved wooden harp is a porcelain-headed lady with very pale complexion enhanced by heart-shaped face, aquiline nose, cobalt blue glass eyes, beautifully painted features, closed mouth, porcelain breastplate, pierced ears, original soft pale blonde mohair wig in original coiffure, carton upper torso, separated metal fingers, and cone-shaped metal/wooden form which disguises the hidden spring-driven clockwork motor and serves as a form for her elegant gown. The wooden-framed harp in original red and gilded paint has detailed carving. The lady wears a superb costume of ice blue silk with fine Alencon lace and four-strand pearl choker at her elongated throat.

    The clockwork mechanism has six brass animation cams as well as a two-air musical movement with beautiful sounds. When the movement is turned on, music sounds, the lady’s head turns to the sides and leans forward, hands move along the strings.