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Lot: 4. French Musical Scene Animee "The Monkey Landscape Artist" with Clock by Phalibois

27" (69 cm.) Arranged upon an ebony wooden base under an oval glass dome is a costumed gentleman monkey,posed in a bucolic setting under a silk-leaved tree arbor,faux-mossy ground base and large paper-mache rock formation,The Monkey Artist stands in front of a wooden artist easel with canvas,and holds a palette and paint brush. He has a paper-mache head,glass eyes,grey mohair wig and beard,leather-skin jaw,carton torso,wooden hands,legs with painted stockings,and is richly dressed in silk shirt and breeches,and velvet vest. Movement and Music. In sequential and naturalistic movements,the Monkey Artist blinks his eyes,nodding and turning his head. He curls back his lip while his mouth moves,as though conversing with an unseen passer-by. Meanwhile he dabs the palette and then adds deft strokes to the canvas. Periodically,he pauses in a self-admiring way to contemplate his masterpiece,a still-life of flowers. Two tunes play. The animations are created by six,Phalibois-style cams. The two tune music is provided by the original,pull-string musical movement that can be changed at will by means of an exterior control. The original timepiece bears the maker's stamp on the rear "Japy Freres & Cie"; its original silk thread suspension was converted to spring suspension; the clock retains its original face,hands,and bell. Jean Phalibois,circa 1880,the scene animee was featured in the 1884 toy catalog of Silber and Fleming with the note "the manner in which it takes the colour from the palette and then proceeds to paint is very natural". The monkey artist was more often produced in a seated position without the clock; this standing version with clock is rare.

Realized Price: 10000

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  • Music Motion, Fancy - $75
    November 23, 2008 in Morristown, NJ

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