Musical automaton "Japanese smoker"

    Musical automaton "Japanese smoker"

    France, Paris


    Vichy, Gustave

    Papier-mache, brass, wood, metal, fabric; sewing, casting, mechanical work, painting, wood carving

    70 x 35 x 31 cm, 8 kg


    Musical automaton in the form of a smoker's bust in the national Japanese clothing is mounted on rectangular shaped black pedestal with golden images in the style of Japanese lacquer miniature. The smoker’s head is made of plaster, swarthy skin; half-open articulated mouth, brown glass eyes with articulated eyelids, long dark hair stacked on the nape, long mustaches. He is dressed in black silk brocade kimono with floral pattern; sleeves with yellow cuffs, blue velvet collar with pendants, light blue sleeves of the shirt, brown belt with hieroglyphs. A clasp in the form of a flower with a nutlet is on the kimono. He is holing a smoking pipe in his right hand and a teacup in his left one.
    Control mechanism with five cams, bellows for breathing in, exhaling smoke, and a musical movement pinned cylinder for two tunes, sound comb and spring motor are mounted in the body. Winding key and on / off lever are on the stand rear side. When the mechanism is turned on, the melody sounds, the smoker turns his head, picks up the smoking pipe, inhales smoke twice, moves his mouth and eyelids, as if enjoying smoking, then tilts his head back, exhaling smoke and raises the cup in his left hand. Smoke is drawn from a lit cigarette in the pipe, passes through the body and comes out of the smoker’s mouth. Bronze busts of the French sculptor Emile Guillemin (1841-1907) may have inspired the Gustave Vichy series of automats in the form of busts.