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French Automaton "Magician Clown with Surprises" by Leopold Lambert

Lot Number: 
52
24" (61 cm.) Standing upon a velvet-covered wooden base is a clown whose papier-mache head is exuberantly decorated with painted butterflies and insects on whitened complexion,with blue glass eyes circled by brown and black eye-shadow and brows,red-tipped nose,open mouth with long tongue,auburn and white fleecy clown wig,on carton torso and legs,metal arms,papier-mache hands,wearing a magenta silk jacket over formal vest and shirt,trousers,bow tie. He is posed in front of a wooden table decorated with green felt table cover edged with metallic braid and with gilt metal symbols,a metal cone on the table top which hides the surprises below. Condition: excellent condition,original finish with some minor flaking on tongue paint,mechanism and music function well. Marks: LB (on key). Comments: Leopold Lambert,circa 1890,when wound,he nods his head and turns it in a realistic manner as though looking at his audience and then at his surprises which are alternately revealed when he taps the table; the prizes include pearls,dice,pocket watch,and a wonderful jeweled seahorse. Value Points: well-preserved automaton with fabulous facial decorations,wonderful surprises,faded original paper tune on the front.
Realized Price: 
$17,000
Presale Estimate: 
8000/12,000