Meet the themed exhibition "Circus Parade!" characters

Another character of the recently opened exhibition "Circus Parade” — is musical automaton from the museum Collection exposition — "Clown and fly", made in 1900 in France, in the workshop of Henry Phalibois.

The automaton features a figure of a clown sitting on a high-backed chair, with black wooden box mounted under the seat. The clown head is made of papier-mache, his hair is of cotton wool, he has glass eyes, eyelids with thick lashes, wide open laughing mouth, a nose with red tip on which a fly sits. He is dressed in clown-like suit of pink silk with pleated collar, puffed sleeves with velvet cuffs, mustard-coloured gathered shirt, red velvet waistcoat with glass beaded fringe, trousers above the knees with frills, a cape over the back on the cord tied in the front, pink knitted stockings and black shoes.

The musical movement with pinned metal cylinder, sound comb and spring drive, is mounted in the box under the chair, winding key is to the right, on/off button is the mechanism rear side. When the movement is activated, a melody is played and the clown begins to applaud, while shrugging vigorously, smoothly turning his head to the right and left, tilting and raising it, his eyelids with thick lashes are moving. He gives the impression of trying to shake off a fly sitting on his nose. The key is in the set.

For the story of the Phalibois family-run business, see Authors/Producers section.