Musical automaton "Equilibrist on ladder"

    Musical automaton "Equilibrist on ladder"

    France, Paris


    Vichy, Gustave

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

    Height 120 cm, 9 kg

    Stamp on the nape: “C.II.B”; red stamp with a clown's image and letters C and B in the center and full-circle inscription: "DÉPOSÉE C.B.". Beneath the mark "11"


    Automaton in the form of a clown’s figure is leaning with his hands on the top ends of the ladder mounted on rectangular, green velvet-topped, with braid and tassels along the front edge, pedestal on feet. The figure is dressed in satin clown’s jumpsuit, adorned with sparkles, with an openwork collar and wide sleeves and wide short pants. The right sleeve is yellow, the left one is pale-lilac; the right half of the jumpsuit is pale lilac, the left one is yellow. The embroidery in the form of a beetle is on the chest, the embroidery in the form of a face, surrounded by sequins, is on the back. Green velvet waistcoat with wide lapels and short flaps are embroidered with beads and sequins. Yellow and pink knitted stockings and white leather shoes with pompons and small stars are on his feet. Yellow and red hair wig with green bow and stars is on his head. The clown's make-up is on his face, a beetle is drawn on his forehead. An activating lever and aperture for the crank are on the stand right side. When the movement is turned on, the equilibrist's figure comes into motion. The clown performs a horizontal handstand. The head is raised and lowered. Then the clown moves into the vertical handstand and moves his right hand aside, balancing on his left hand. After that, all movements are repeated in the reverse order. The ladder tilts forward and backward while the performance is going on.
    The clown’s performance is accompanied by the sounds of musical movement with cylinder and sound comb.