“Gentleman Smoker” Automaton by Leopold Lambert, c. 1885
A rare version of Lambert’s smoking marquis, dressed as an English or American gentleman in original tailored tweed wool suit with gilt-metal fob, silk waistcoat, walking cane and a miniature bowler hat.
The unmarked bisque head is an unusual character model with holes, drilled while the greenware was still wet, on either side of the nose to hold the brass-framed pince-nez. The head is probably the “Paris Bébé” model used by Emile Jumeau after winning the sole rights to the name in a patent lawsuit against his competitor Anatole Danel.
The spring-mechanism has an early Lambert key and stop / start button. The automaton is offered in original unrestored, but non-functioning condition. He has a small chip on the lower-left side of his underlip (from a collision with the cigarette-holder), a missing finger on his left hand and a repair on his right hand. The costume is in generally good condition, with the exception of the worn blue silk stockings and the usual wear to the silk waistcoat.
Size: H 58cm