Original French Bisque Automaton "Waltzing Lady and Gentleman" Vichy, Provenance

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13" (33 cm.) A bisque-headed couple are posed in each others arms, in formal dance position, each with blue glass eyes, beautifully painted facial features, carton torso, paper mache legs and metal hands on man, bisque forearms on woman. Each doll has its original white mohair wig in very elaborate coiffure, and is wearing its original blue and ivory cream silk ballroom costume in the 1790 style, the woman with original pearl necklace and earrings, and silk floral arrangement in hair. The woman fits upon a metal cone "skirt" that contains mechanism, and is hidden by her silk skirt. When wound, the dolls twirl about, pause, reverse, repeat, and meanwhile the entire piece glides along on three wheeled-base. Condition: generally excellent, music and mechanism function well. bisque heads perfect, some restoration to woman's fingers. Marks: (two tune paper label are on base indicating "La Jolie Parfum" and "L'Espana Valse"). Comments: Gustav Vichy, circa 1880. A paper note, handwritten in 1959 and attached to the metal cone tells the provenance of the automaton, detailing that in 1880 "mon grand-pere Jules Boissier" brought some dolls from Paris to his six year old daughter Caroline, adding that the automaton that the piece had passed down in the Boissier family, to Isabelle, then to Jules and, in 1959. finally to Noel. It was after this time the time piece was acquired at a Theriault's auction from the original family, Value Points: superbly-preserved luxury automaton combines exquisite sculpting of faces with couturier costumes, original music and tune labels, and realistically-rendered elegant dance movements.
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