Large French Musical Automaton "Lady Flower Seller with Surprises" Leopold Lambert

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28" (71 cm.) Standing upon a velvet-covered wooden base is a bisque-head doll with portrait-like expression which depicts an adult woman, having slender facial modeling with aquiline nose, blue glass paperweight eyes, open mouth with slightly upturned lips, double row of teeth, blonde mohair wig, carton torso and legs with shapely ankles, bisque forearms, wearing a coral and ivory silk dress with velvet jacket, silk pom-poms, matching bonnet, silk shoes and stockings,and is holding a gilt ormolu tray which displays two large white silk flowers. When wound, the lady turns her head from side to side and nods up and down, then taps her right hand and the right hand flower opens to reveal its surprise, a brown faced monkey with glass-eyes, who turns his head from side to side and opens and closes his hinged mouth; she then taps her left hand and the other flower opens, revealing its surprise, a pair of all bisque dolls that twirl and dance about.. Two tunes play. Marks: Depose Tete Jumeau Bte SGDG 8 (head) (with Lambert classic winding key). Condition: generally excellent, music and mechanism function well. Comments: Leopold Lambert, circa 1880, a similar smaller model, classic face, was shown in the Lambert catalog as "Bouquetiere, No.7". This larger size with portrait face was an earlier deluxe model, likely made on special commission. Value Points: rare early automaton with exquisite portrait face has most entertaining seven movements. Ex-collection Christian Bailly.
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