A very rare and impressive English Gentleman Smoking Automata by Roullet & Decamps, circa 1880
The Gentleman with painted papier-mache head with blue glass eyes, leather eyelids and eye lashes, hinged jaw, ruddy cheeks, teeth, real hair and moustache, metal painted hands holding a cigarette holder in right hand and ornate gold painted lorgnette to left hand, dressed in red felt hunting jacket and mauve leather waistcoat, both with decorative gold painted embossed buttons, white leather breeches and moulded black boots with leather tops, and black moleskin top hat, on red velvet base, key and stop/start lever to side, with movement and musical air to body. When wound he nods and moves his head from side to side opening his mouth and raising the cigarette holder to his lips, blinks and expels smoke through his mouth, then raises his lorgnette and looks around, all whilst the musical movement plays, 75cm (29 1/2in) tall.
Reference: 'Automata, The Golden Age 1848-1914' by Christian Bailly. Pg.127 for similar automata and pg.288 for original catalogue entry.