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Lot: 49. French Automaton "The Black Vaudeville Performer Tipping His Hat" by Roullet & Decamp

28" (71 cm.) Standing upon a large wooden platform,posed in a jaunty insouciant manner as though about to begin his performance,is a black-complexioned paper-mache man with highly characterized yet handsome features,glass eyes with articulated eyelids,wide smile with painted teeth,black wiry hair,elongated slender torso and legs,and brown paper-mache hands. He is wearing a silk costume and sash,leather vest with button front,and has a tall hat on his head. He is standing on one foot,seemingly supported by his fancy walking stick. Movement. To begin his performance,he taps his foot four times,then surprisingly spins the cane (which evidently was not supporting him after all!),and raises his right hand to flip his hat onto his nose where he balances it for a short time before flicking it back onto the top of his head. To signal the end of his act,he blinks his eyes and turns his head to the audience. Roullet et Decamps,circa 1910. Only two other examples of this rare piece are known,one appearing in Automata,The Golden Age by Bailly,page 140,identified as "Fashionable Juggler",and the other,an early electrified version,previously in the Gaston Decamps archives,both presented as a white-complexioned gentleman.

Realized Price: 15000


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