39 . French Bisque Musical Automaton "Pastry Chef with Surprise" by Leopold Lambert with Rare 203 Art Character Face
30" (76 cm.) Carved wooden head with elongated throat and flat-cut socket which swivels on wooden torso, well-defined sculpting of facial features with defined pointy-tip nose, painted cheek blush spots, two black painted eyes, painted single line lashes and brows, each with "dot" fringe, closed mouth with primly-set lips, remnants of hair wig sewn to linen cap, muslin upper arms, carved wooden lower arms with kid cover, separately-carved fingers, wooden legs with dowel-jointing at hips and knees. Condition: original finish is well preserved with a craze line at each eye (visible in photo), legs may not be original. Comments: English, late 1600s. A series of dolls with remarkably similar expressions and construction and decorative details were accomplished, likely by the same English craftsman, and likely on commission for British aristocracy. Other dolls from this series include Lord and Lady Clapham at the Victoria and Albert Museum and Lady Elton from the Estrid Faurholt book (featured on the cover of her 1967 Book of Dolls and Dollhouses, and later featured in the Legoland Museum of Antique Dolls). Value Points: the largest example from this very rare series known to exist, with compelling presence, remarkable original finish for its more than 300 year existence; the doll owns its original rare laced corset and other costume elements in various states of condition.