French Musical Automaton "Little Girl with Pet Mouse" by Charles Rambour

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17" (43 cm.) Standing upon a velvet covered platform with linen covered table and a painted tin mouse cage is a bisque-head doll with blue glass paperweight eyes, closed mouth, blonde mohair wig, carton torso and legs, bisque forearms, wearing blue silk dress with gold ball fringe, holding a baton in one hand and the string to open the mouse cage in the other. When wound, two mechanisms operate in synchronism: the girl lifts her head and then lifts her left arm to open the door of the cage, while, in perfect timing, the mouse timidly emerges from the cage, pauses, the girl lifts her right arm as though about to chase the mouse who then whirls around and scurries back into the cage. Music plays throughout. Marks: M (doll) (also pencil inscription "souris [mouse] inside the box). Condition: generally excellent, music and mechanism function well. Comments: Charles Rambour, circa 1895. Rambour acquired the rights to the Bru mechanical "surprise" patents in 1893 and created delightful articles such as this for next seven years. Value Points: delightful vignette with surprisingly intricate mechanism that adds to its appeal, functioning well, and beautifully presented.
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