Musical automaton "Strolling puppeteer"

    Musical automaton "Strolling puppeteer"

    Switzerland, Saint Croix

    circa 2005


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

    Height 75 cm

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


    The automaton in the form of a figure of a walking wandering actor with a shadow puppet theater behind his shoulders is mounted on an octagonal, topped with a brown velvet pedestal. The puppeteer is dressed in long waistcoat with small buttons and short red velvet pantaloons with yellow satin cuffs with the buttons. Circle wavy collar and an openwork jabot are on his neck. Purple coat with red silk lining, lateral inserts and wide sleeves with lapels is put above the waistcoat. Broad-brimmed hat with colored feathers is made of the same fabric as the coat. Brown leather shoes with lapels are on the feet. The head and hands are made of papier-mache, eyebrows, eyes and eyelashes are painted. The puppeteer holds a cane with round knob in his left hand. A booth in the form of a wooden box with a pediment and a screen made of milk plastic is behind his shoulders. Flat-hinged figures of the shadow theater are behind the screen. The box is decorated with carved painted pads. An advertising bill in French with the scenes from the play is glued on the front side; the booklets are on the lateral sides. An opening metal lighting box with a switch, a bulb and three AA batteries is fixed on the rear side. It is covered with red fabric. An integrated crown with a ring is on the pedestal top surface. An activating crank is on the left side. When the movement and illumination are turned on, the figure of the puppeteer and the figures behind the screen come into motion. The actor rises his right hand and descends left one. The left leg moves 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 characters of the shadow theater play the sketch.
    The actions are accompanied by the sounds of the musical movement with cylinder and sound comb.