An important early automaton by the French master maker Gaston Decamps. Standing 30 inches high the sculptors skill in suggesting the figure is alive is evident.
For sale unrestored, the automaton makes an impressive centrepiece sculpture or interesting museum exhibit if left exactly as it is.
The automaton could also be restored with a new drive motor (if restored sensitively the value should be in the region of £12,000).
This automaton is approximately 110 years old and its clothes and drive mechanism are now lost. The figure retains the metal shoulder plate complete with all the cranks and levers for the arm and head movements, the bellows is present along with its sliding valve for inhaling and exhaling, also present is the distinctive stop/start button.
The head is a well sculpted papier mache and gesso with original paint and intact with movements of the lower lip (leather torn) and eyelids along with head turn and nod. The hands are also gessoed papier mache with some finger loss.
The body is papier mache and wood with metal components and displays the interesting hatches and cut outs for the mechanical components.
The original shaped wooden base is a style typical of the Marais workshops.
The figure is large with a distinctive character and great presence. Please study the photographs which form part of the description and email me with any questions.