7 . Automaton
30" (76 cm.) Two vivacious papier-mache clowns are posed upon a wooden stage with red velvet draperies and five front steps,ready to begin their performance. Each has oil-painted white complexion and dramatic clown decorations,piercingly-brilliant blue glass eyes,articulated eyelids,white mohair clown wig and silk costume embroidered with musical symbols. One clown has a well-defined frowning expression and the other a wide beaming smile with painted teeth. Their musical "instruments" are whimsical confections,one wrought of a saucepan and the other carved of wood. When wound,they begin their performance: turning their heads from side-to-side,blinking their eyes,and side-stepping in unison while strumming their instruments. Suddenly,the sullen clown,in an apparent attack of jealousy,attempts to kick the cheerful clown off the stage. The cheerful clown is blissfully indifferent,and just turns in the other direction and kicks out of sequence. Music accompanies their performance and a large Vichy-style motor drives the movements from six cams. Condition: generally excellent,music and movements function well. Comments: Vichy,circa 1910 during Triboulet era,the theme plays upon the popular French legends of "Jean qui rire et Jean qui pleure" (John who laughs,John who cries). Value Points: fabulous automaton with very intricate and synchronized movements of great theatricality.