Automaton “Artisan manufacturing mechanical duck”

    Automaton “Artisan manufacturing mechanical duck”

    France, Herbeys

    Second half of the 20th century

    C.G. Laurent

    Metal, fabric, leather, wood, plastic; mechanical and electrical work, sewing, painting

    35 x 40 x 60 cm, 20 kg

    On metal nameplate: Création C.G. LAURENT/Constructeurs Restaurateurs/38320 HERBEYS Tél.76736417. On paper stickers on the stand “PERMANENT/INTERMITTENT”, “ARRET/MARCHE”, “ALIMENTATION 220V.”, “BOUTON POUSSOIR”


    Automaton in the form of an artisan’s figure in the 18th century clothes, sitting on a chair at the working table is set on wooden stand with the top panel of parquet blocks and lateral sides closed with brown velvet with braid. The nameplate with the maker’s name is fixed on the panel left corner. Mechanical duck model is mounted on the table; working tools are next to it. Movable head of the duck is wooden, pantograph-shaped metal wings. The artisan is dressed in light green culottes, printed fabric vest with faux pearl buttons; lawny shirt’s sleeves are with lace cuffs. He is wearing black leather shoes with metal buckles and red heels, knit stockings are light-colored. His wig is brown and tie with dark-brown bows. The head, neck and hands of the doll are made from papier-mâché; blue glass eyes, eyebrows and lower lip on the painted face are movable. Winding key is fixed in his right hand, the oiler is in the right one.
    Cam control mechanism controlls the master’s movements, electromagnetic time relay and musical movement with pinned cylinder for two melodies, sound comb and electric motor are mounted inside the stand. Operating mechanism with eleven cam discs is driven by electric motor with reducing gearbox. The movement of the duck are activated by separate cam control gear with electric motor mounted in its body. Time relay switches the mechanism on/off. When the automaton is switched on, the master’s figure is activated: the hands move in the forearms, the head turns and bends, the mouth opens and closes, eyes are moving and eyebrows rise and descend. All movement are quite natural. The duck’s head turns, the tail moves from side to side, the wings spread apart and fold.
    Electrical power cord that is plugged into the connector on the stand rear panel is in the set.