French Musical Automaton "The Happy Chef" by Roullet et Decamp

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20" (51 cm.) Standing upon a velvet covered base with four wooden ball feet is a bisque head doll with brown glass paperweight inset eyes, painted lashes, brushstroked brows, accented nostrils, slightly-parted lips, auburn mohair wig, carton torso and legs, composition lower arms, wearing factory original chef's costume comprising ivory satin jacket, velvet pants, black shoes, cotton chef cap, silk bow tie, and holding a "skillet fiddle" which he strums with a pair of cast iron tongs. When wound, music plays, he turns his head side to side, and in circular motions, tongue sticks in and out, while strumming the skillet in which a turkey is basting. Condition: generally excellent, mechanism and music play well except tongue which needs adjustment. Marks: Bte SGDG Tete Jumeau 3 (and artist checkmarks). Comments: Roullet et Decamps, circa 1890. Value Points: delightful mechanical vignette amusingly depicts the antics of a happy chef, especially choice in original costume.
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