Speaking automaton "Gentleman from the Maison Boubot"

    Speaking automaton "Gentleman from the Maison Boubot"

    France, Paris

    Circa 1930

    Metal, papier-mâché, fabric, paper; mechanical and electrical work, sewing, painting

    Height 170 cm


    Automaton in the shape of a smiling young man dressed in light plaid trousers, white shirt with black tie, striped vest and sandy color jacket; black hat is on his head. A corner of white handkerchief is visible in the jacket’s pocket and white paper flower is in the buttonhole. The man’s head, neck and hands are made of papier-mâché and painted, glass brown eyes, dark moving eyebrows. Dark mustache tips are bent up. Electrodynamic loudspeaker is mounted in his chest. The mechanism with five cams and electrical motor controls the automaton movements. The automaton is connected to the electrical power system by connecting cord and three-position switch in plastic case. When the automaton is activated, the figure begins to move - the forearms move, the head turns and bends, the mouth opens and closes, eyes move, eyebrows rise and descend. All movements are distinguished by naturalness. The loudspeaker reproduces speech recorded on digital media. It is possible to turn off the voice. The automaton was standing at the entrance to the Parisian Maison Boubot trading gallery and invited streetwalkers to enter the shop, herewith pronouncing the advertising text recorded on analogue media.