7 . Automaton
25" (64 cm.) A beautiful black-complexioned papier-mache lady with brown glass eyes,mohair lashes,painted brows,open mouth with two rows of teeth,dark mohair wig arranged under turban,carton torso and legs with bare feet,defined toes,wire upper arms,papier-mache hands,wearing her original elaborate silk and brocade costume with lace sleeves and elaborate embroidery,appears to be holding a large woven basket filled with garden wares,notably three large colorful flowers. The basket is actually attached to the mechanism in her torso. When wound,she turns and nods her head in a realistic manner as though calling out to passers-by,while her eyes blink open and closed. Then the basket reveals,in sequence,its three surprises. One-by-one,a "flower" opens to reveal,in turn,a papier-mache monkey with blinking glass eyes and chattering mouth,a bisque girl who dances and twirls about,and a papier-mache mouse which runs in circles over and over again. Two tunes play. Condition: generally excellent,music and mechanism function well. Comments: Gustav Vichy,circa 1885. Value Points: an outstanding example of the intricate automaton with 11 different animations,perfectly-preserved original finish,original costume,rare mohair lashes,and wonderful surprises.