A rare 'Negro Banjo-Player' musical automaton, by G. Vichy, circa 1885,
Lot 31
A rare 'Negro Banjo-Player' musical automaton, by G. Vichy, circa 1885,
Sold for £7,200 (US$ 12,101) inc. premium
Lot Details
A rare 'Negro Banjo-Player' musical automaton, by G. Vichy,
circa 1885,
with the single air cylinder musical movement accompanying the standing figure leaning against the back of a side chair, with finely painted papier-mâché head and hands with open-winged dragonfly painted decoration to forehead, holding four-stringed banjo, dressed in fully original clothes comprising pleated yellow and cream striped shirt with high collar, red-lined full-length jacket with busy geometric naturalistic leaves and flowers adorned upon white ground, multi-coloured breaches and black tights, black pointed-toe shoes, short plated hair, and when actuated, moving eyelashes, opening mouth, shrugging shoulders and upper body, strumming banjo strings and taping left foot in time with the music, the white and black paint-finished chair containing the movement, start/stop and winding spindle to side, with the original turned treen grip crank-handle, (old splits to chair underside, very brittle silk clothes starting to tear) -
27in. (69cm) high

Footnotes

  • Reference: Automata - The Golden Age 1848-1914, C. Bailly, p.104, (for the smaller 'sister' version with banjo player seated on the back rail of the chair, with identical movement).
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