Mechanical Compositions

Automaton picture

    Automaton picture


    late 19th century

    Wood, cardboard; painting, lithography

    53 x 60 x 4 cm, 5 kg

    Inscription on paper label on the reverse side: “Hoyt Life Picture…” Label reads: "This is intended to be hung on a wall like an ordinary framed picture, preferably where the light will strike it straight in front. Pictures should be kept always wound up and "shut off", so that when it is desired to set picture in motion, it is ready. By turning on the movement unobserved the visitor is surprised and mystified. It is desirable that the person looking at the picture to be kept as far from it as possible, so as not to discover the method by which the face changes"

    The lithographed card portrait with articulated head, eyes, eyelids and upper lip, in stained wood frame containing open-spring mechanism causing the lady gently to tilt her head, seductively lower her eyelids, look from side to side, and purse her lips or smile.