Lot 1
  • 1

Gustave Vichy

Estimate
25,000 - 35,000 USD
Sold
31,250 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • 'LA JAPONAISE'
    A FINE MUSICAL AUTOMATON
    CIRCA 1885

  • Wood
• the figure with papier mâché head, upswept hair held in an elaborate bun by Japanese kanzashi, the standing figure with a broad smile holds a large blue paper parasol in her left hand, an uchiwa fan held in her right hand • the figure performs the following series of motions: she bows her head and turns from left to right while blinking, twirls the parasol and fans herself, all to music playing two airs • the music and automaton work contained within the body • with two control levers for start/stop and winding, the winder terminating in Vichy's signature Acorn

Catalogue Note

Paris in the late 19th century was fascinated by the Far East. Gustave Vichy created a series of automata inspired by life in China and Japan. The flat uchiwa is the most common of Japanese fans. In East Asian cultures, the fan is symbolic of friendship and goodwill. Kanzashi are traditional Japanese hair ornaments and came into popular use during the Edo period (1603-1868).

A nearly identical figure is part of The Guiness Collection, Morris Museum, Morristown, New Jersey, and is illustrated in Bailly, C., Automata: The Golden Age, pp. 70-71 and 235.

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