Very Rare French Mechanical Toy "Femme Velocipede" by Vichy in Grand Size

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18" (46 cm.) Seated upon a three-wheeled cast lead velocipede is a bisque-head doll with brown glass enamel inset eyes, painted lashes and brows, closed mouth, brunette mohair wig over cork pate, carton torso, painted metal hands, and wearing superb original silk costume. The velocipede is designed so that the front wheel can be aimed at will, enabling the cycle to run in a straight direction or to cover a large area in a circular pattern, all the while the cyclist is pumping the pedals while its head is turning side-to-side to gaze upon the surroundings. Condition: bisque head excellent, original costume a bit frail, some minor flakes to original finish of velocipede, mechanism needs adjustment. Comments: Vichy, circa, 1867, the human-sized velocipede was a celebrated trend throughout Europe at this time, inspiring toy makers to create doll-sized mechanical models such as this example known as a "tricycle velocipede". Value Points: rare luxury size, with very fine bisque doll, original costume, accessory details include bone tips of handlebars, ormolu lamp, and lorgnette. Ex-Collection Mary Merrit Museum.
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