Musical automaton “Russian girl serving tea”

    Musical automaton “Russian girl serving tea”

    France, Paris

    Circa 1900

    Simon & Halbig, composer Louis-Gaston Ganne, Lambert, Léopold

    Wood, metal, fabric, biscuit, papier-mache, bugles; painting, sewing, mechanical and carpentry work

    Height 49 cm

    On the label: "Marche Lorraine"; imprint of the stamp on the nape "1159”, “Germany”, “S&H”, “Dep"; on the key: “LB”, “Marche Lorraine”


    Musical automaton in the form of a girl figurine in the folk costume is fixed on wooden stand with rounded corners covered with red velvet. The label with handwritten melody title "Marche Lorraine" is on the stand bottom. The girl's head, neck and hands are made of biscuit, dark gray glass eyes with movable eyelids, half-open mouth, pearl-colored earrings in the ears, shoulder-length lush blonde artificial hair. The girl is dressed in lined emerald green satin dress with puff sleeves and pleated bodice from ivory satin trimmed with rows of brown and red ribbons along the dress bottom, on the sleeves, bodice and cuffs. The bodice neckline is ornamented wih lace; black lace ribbon is on the neck. White underwear is trimmed with lace, black socks and green satin shoes with red bows are on her feet. The girl has a teapot in her right hand and tray with the painted tea set in the left one. Musical mechanism with sound comb, pinned cylinder, spring drive and automaton mechanism is in the stand with wring up key for winding the movement and activating lever is on the rear side. When the mechanism is turned on the music sounds, in time with the music, the girl's head turns both sides, she slightly nods, blinks, her left hand with the tray moves from left to right, the girl raises her right hand with the teapot and tilts it over the cups, as if pouring tea.
    The melody of French patriotic song “Marche Lorraine” is encoded on the pinned cylinder. The song was created by the French composer and conductor Lois-Gaston Ganne (05.04.1862-14.07.1923) in 1892 on the 18th Federal Gymnastics Festival in France, and later was included in the official French military repertoire.