A FINE MUSICAL AUTOMATON
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.