L’ automate Traditionnel
Metal, fabric, wood, leather, biscuit; mechanical and carpentry work, sewing, painting over biscuit
74 x 40 x 40 cm
Automaton in the form of a girl that sits on a bench and writes a letter. The bench is mounted on low square stand upholstered with fringed tapestry fabric. Green color grid comprised from diagonal crossbars is fixed behind the figure. The girl is wearing wide hoop skirt made from pink crepe with lace insert on light green lining with ruffles and square décolletage, with a bow at her back. The sleeves of the dress are decorated with lace frills and flowers from fabric; the skirt is trimmed with ruffles with ribbon. The lace underskirt is white. Dark red velvet strip with imitation pearl pendant and pearls and lace and cambric ruffle are on the girl neck. The head, chest and hands are made from biscuit porcelain. Blue glass eyes are movable, the eyebrows are painted and the lips are painted red. Lush wig of blond wavy hair is on the head. It is decorated with ribbon and artificial flowers. Light-color shoes and yellow-green stockings with lace ribbon are on her feet. The girl holds burgundy color leather pad on her knees, with a piece of paper laying on it. Goose-quill with a hub into which a ball pen is inserted is in her right hand. The engine controlling the automaton movements is located under the bench and in the stand. The programme basis of the mechanism consists of Ten cam discs mounted on common spindle and rotated by a spring motor comprise the motor. The movement from the cam discs is transmitted to the automaton moving elements by the system of rods and levers. From the rear side the engine is closed with detachable panel with winding holes and the activating button.
When the engine is activated, Columbine put her left on a sheet of paper, her right hand with the pen descends and starts to write letters of the Latin alphabet that comprise the inscription - “à Pierrot”. The head lowers and turns, the eyes follow the hand, the chest rises and falls. When the inscription is finished, the left hand releases the paper, and right hand rises. The head rises as well; the eyes open widely and the girl looks at the audience. The musical movement with pinned cylinder and sound comb during the whole cycle of the automaton movement performs the music. The winding key, ball-point pens, handwritten product care and maintenance instruction in French are in the set.