Musical Automaton “Japanese tea drinker” in the column "Exhibit in detail"
The museum Collection exposition of Amusing Automata is the only one of its kind in Russia and is recognized by experts as one of the most complete in the world - it presents all types and forms of mechanical toys made in the 18th – 20th centuries.
Musical automaton1) "Japanese tea drinker" was created by the French master Gustave Vichy2) in 1900. The automaton features a doll that stands on round wooden flat stand, trimmed with dark azure velvet. In the left hand, the doll has an umbrella with green wooden handle. The umbrella frame is made from bamboo, the canopy is made from light yellow paper, decorated with the painting depicting sakura and two birds. A porcelain cup with goldish pattern is in the In the doll right hand. The doll is dressed in cream-colored silk kimono with wide sleeves, embroidered with floral patterns of coral, light gray and light yellow colors, as well as goldish lurex. Dress lining and band collar are peach-blossom colored. The neck is adorned with white and pumpkin color silk scarf. Bow-tied orange silk belt is on the doll waist. Mustard-colored cotton knee-high socks and clogs on small platform with rounded toe to match the dress are on the doll feet.
The mechanism is activated by the key on the doll back, the lever is on the rear side as well. The movement plays a melody, during the sounding of which the doll brings a cup to the lips and leans back, as if drinking tea, turns its head and slightly rotates the umbrella.
This exhibit participated in the exhibition "The Magic of Dolls", which was held at the Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts from 12.15.2014 to 02.08.2015.
The exhibit is going to take part in the exhibition “Musical Magic. Automata, self-playing instruments and antique rarities of the 18th – 20th centuries" that will be held in Kazan.
1) Automaton is a winded mechanism encased in a doll representing a person, an animal or a bird that moves to the music and does actions that are typical for its line of conduct.
2) Gustav Vichy produced automata and mechanical dolls, organizing the entire production process in his small workshop. In 1878, the Vichy firm received a silver medal at an exhibition in Cherbourg, and in 1880 - a gold medal at the international fair in Melbourne.