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French Animated Monkey Musicians on Reed-Playing Organ by Thibouville-Lamy

Lot Number: 
28
28" (71 cm.) h. x 17". x 12". Two highly-animated be-wigged monkey musicians with paper mache heads, glass eyes, moving upper and lower lips of painted kidskin, very characterized features, painted wooden lower limbs and clothed in 18th century style aristocratic costumes are posed seated atop a rosewood cabinet while playing the violin and large cello, with wooden music racks at their feet. The cabinet contains an eight-air, hand-driven, reed-playing barrel organ. When wound, they play the instruments in a lively animated fashion, with movement of head, lips and arms. Condition: mechanism and music function well, the cabinet and monkeys are structurally excellent. Comments: Thibouville-Lamy, France, circa 1875. the firm originated as makers of musical instruments in 1790 and later added barrel organs to their trade, drawing upon the works of artisans of Mirecourt, France where that artisan trade was centered. It is speculated that the monkey figures were supplied by Theroude. Value Points: well-preserved and delightful automaton with fascinating historical background.
Realized Price: 
$4,000
Presale Estimate: 
5000/7000