Musical automaton "Japanese smoker"

    Musical automaton "Japanese smoker"

    France, Paris


    Vichy, Gustave

    Alabaster, wood, metal, fabric, brass, amber; sewing, mechanical work, woodwork, painting, wood carving

    62 x 46 x 42 cm, 10 kg

    On the key '13"


    Musical automaton in the form of a smoker's bust in the  national Japanese clothing is mounted on rectangular shaped brown pedestal with golden images in the style of Japanese lacquer miniatures. The smoker has a plaster alabaster head, swarthy skin, half-open mouth, brown glass eyes with moving eyelids, long dark hair braided with beige bow, long mustaches. He is dressed in dark blue silk brocade kimono with silver dragons with wide sleeves with brown silk cuffs, red-brown blouse with a band-collar, trimmed with pink braid, and lace-trimmed sleeves. A cape with metal gimp ornament and clasp in the form of a pearl brooch is on his shoulders. A smoking pipe with an amber mouthpiece is in the smoker’s right hand, a ring is on his finger. A jewel with blue transparent faceted gem is in his left hand.
    Control mechanism with five cams, bellows for breathing in and exhaling smoke and musical movement with pinned cylinder for two tunes, sound comb and spring motor are mounted in the body. Winding key and start/stop lever are on the pedestal rear side. When the movement is turned on, the melody sounds, the smoker turns his head, picks up the smoking pipe, inhales smoke, at the same time he moves his mouth and eyelids, then tilts his head back, exhaling smoke and raises the jewel in his left hand, as if examining it.
    Bronze busts by the French sculptor Emile Guillemin (1841-1907) might have inspired Gustave Vichy to create the series of automata in the form of busts.