Musical automaton "Shepherdess"

    Musical automaton "Shepherdess"

    France, Paris

    Circa 1880

    Francois Gaultier, Vichy, Gustave

    Wood, biscuit, fabric, glass, papier-mâché; sewing, carving, mechanical work and carpentry

    50 x 33 x 28 cm, 3 kg


    Musical automaton in the form of a shepherdess' figure sitting on papier-mâché base in the form of a mossy stump under a tree with leaves and chestnuts is mounted on wooden quadrangular stand with rounded corners. A slot closed with burgundy velvet roller is on the stand top panel. The girl’s head, neck and hands are biscuit, blue glass eyes, earrings in ears, straw hat with braid bow on the blond hair. The hat bottom is red, with flowers. The girl is dressed in a red and yellow striped silk dress with lace trim on the sleeves and skirt bottom. Red velvet ribbon with a bow is around her neck; ribbons are on the shoulders, sleeves and belt. Her feet in brown stockings and wooden shoes rest on the back of a lying lamb; a goat stands on its hind legs on the left side; the second lamb stands on the right side. The shepherdess holds mandolin in her hands.  Musical movement with sound comb, pinned cylinder for two tunes and spring motor and automaton mechanism are mounted in the base. Winding key and activating lever are on the rear side. When the movement is activated, a melody sounds, the shepherdess turns her head, as if looking around, her right hand moves with the music along the strings, imitating playing the mandolin. Protective glass hood is in the set.