Musical automaton "A stray puppeteer"

    Musical automaton "A stray puppeteer"

    Switzerland, Saint Croix

    Circa 1970


    Papier-mache, wood, metal, fabric, cardboard; sewing, mechanical work, painting

    Height 75 cm, 1,5 kg

    On the stand bottom sticker: “Automate créé par CAMUS”, “FAIT MAIN”, “Le Pierrot Musical”, “9, rue Centrale CH – 1450 Sainte-Croix”, “E-Mail:


    The automaton in the form a wandering puppeteer figure walking with puppet theater on his shoulders is installed on the octagonal, covered with red velvet stand. The puppeteer is dressed in long vest with small buttons and short velvet yellow pantaloons with satin button-down cuffs. A wavy collar and openwork frill are on his neck. A coat of dark red fabric with satin violet lining, side inserts and lapels on wide sleeves is over the vest. The broad-brimmed hat with colored feathers is made of the same fabric as the coat. Brown cloth shoes with lapels are on his feet. The head and hands are made of papier-mache. Eyebrows, eyes and eyelashes are painted. The glove doll of Guignol, the main character of the street puppet theatres of the French city of Lyon. The puppeteer holds a cane with a round knob in the left hand. A booth in the form of a wooden box with a theatrical portal - the stage is behind the artist’s shoulders. The screen is decorated with red ribbon and carved onlays. Advertising poster in French is glued on its front side. The booklets are on the sides. The rear side is covered with golden skin. A retired soldier with lush gray moustache and sausage curls is standing on the stage. He is wearing blue triangular hat. The integrated crown with ring is on the stand upper side, a rotary start/stop crank is on the left lateral side.
    When the mechanism is turned on, the figure comes into motion. The right hand with the puppet rises, the left one descends, and the left leg goes back. Then the left hand rises, the right hand goes down, the leg returns to its place. The head turns from side to side.
    The automaton movemennts are accompanied by the sounds of musical movement with a cylinder and sound comb.