Automaton "Gentleman cellist"

    Automaton "Gentleman cellist"

    France, Paris

    Circa 1875

    Henry Phalibois

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

    Height 36.6 cm


    Automaton in the form of a musician’s figure sitting on pedestal, covered with velvet and decorated with braid. It is mounted on wooden oval stand, painted with black piano lacquer with onlays, on four supports: the front ones are in the form of ledges, the rear ones - chiseled. The upper panel is covered with gray velvet and ornated with light brown lace trim. The papier-mache head, brown glass eyes, a kippah with orange top on dark hair. He is dressed in white shirt with lace jabot and cuffs, white satin waistcoat with golden buttons, black boot-cut trousers, orange knitted housecoat with brown cuffs and collar, knitted cream-colored stockings and dark-gray shoes on his feet. Blue bow is on the neck, twisted cord on the waist. A music stand with notes is in front of the musician. The musician holds a cello with his left hand, and a fiddle stick with his left hand. The hands and the cello are wooden, the strings are threaded. The control mechanism with wooden cylinder, five levers and spring drive, is fitted in the stand, with winding key and on/off button on the lateral side.
    When the movement is activated, his right hand moves the fiddlestick over the strings, simultaneously the musician's head tilts and rises, smoothly turns to the right and left, the eyes move, as if reading notes, the left leg beats out the rhythm.