French Musical Automaton "Bust of Banjo Player with Grand Finale" by Gustav Vichy

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20" (51 cm.) A brown-complexioned man with paper-mache head having refined features with strong chin and high cheek bones,brown glass eyes with movable eyelids,open mouth with row of upper teeth,black fleecy hair,carton torso,papier-mache hands,and is wearing a silk patterned jacket with pink coral silk lining and cummerbund,silk shirt with bow tie,ruby-centered buttons and cuff links,and velvet cap. The bust is mounted upon a well-crafted wooden plinth,and holds a wooden banjo in his arms. When wound,the man turns his head from side-to-side,blinks his eyes,and teasingly sticks out his tongue,while playing his banjo; suddenly,when the music ends,he lifts his right arm triumphantly in the air as though to signal the end of the performance. Condition: generally excellent,music and movements function well. Comments: Gustav Vichy,circa 1890. Value Points: amusing automaton designed as a salon decoration that could suddenly "come alive" with music and motion,beautifully-preserved with rich patina of complexion.
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