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Extremely Rare French Musical Automaton "Kneeling Egyptian Harpist" by Vichy

Lot Number: 
21
24" (61 cm.) A papier-mache lady with slender face and refined features,brown glass eyes with articulated eyelids,long brunette flowing hair,has papier-mache body posed in kneeling manner on a wooden three-stepped platform with marbleized finish and carpet,alongside a wooden string harp with elegant shape ornamented with a figural head of an Egyptian lady. She is wearing ivory silk crepe de chine gown with tulle veil,jewelry and head dress,and has painted sandals. When wound,she elegantly plucks the harp,her right arm moving laterally to the instrument as her right jointed wrist bends to "pluck" the strings. Then her left arm rises and falls vertically in an arc. Meanwhile her head turns and nods as though gazing at the strings and then at her audience,her breastplate heaves slowly in a breathing motion,and her eyelids open and close. There are two tunes. Condition: generally excellent,mechanism and music function well. Comments: Gustav Vichy,circa 1890,from his deposed luxury series,this being model 661 described as "Egyptian a genoux". Value Points: the rarity of the wonderful automaton is rivaled by its superb presentation and luxury quality of music and movements; few are known to exist.
Realized Price: 
$32,000
Presale Estimate: 
30,000/45,000