7 . Automaton
14" (36 cm.) A lady of great refinement with wax-over-papier-mache head,slender face,cobalt blue eyes,closed mouth with tiny painted teeth,original brunette wig in extended-length braids that are elaborately woven with beads and feathers,carton torso,wire upper arms,metal hands,tin cone-shaped form under the skirt that contains mechanism. When she is wound,music plays,and she glides and turns,whilst strumming the decorated wooden guitar she holds. Condition: generally excellent,mechanism and music function well. Comments: Alexandre Theroude,circa 1860,the unique cone-skirt protects the hidden mechanism yet still allows the doll to be costumed in a most luxurious manner. Value Points: superb original silk costume with embroidery and applique gilt designs enhanced by lace,tiny pearls and fine craftsmanship of guitar on the rare early piece; this particular piece is photographed in Faszinierende Welt des Automata by Annette Beyer (1983),and is ex-collection Marianne Bodmer before its acquisition by Candy and Aaron Spelling.