Giselle Dancing Doll
Dancing Doll – Clockwork Musical made in Paris, c.1930. Marenghi et Cie. The doll is 3.75 inches tall and 8.5 inches high in total including her base.
The polished wooden box base contains the substantial clockwork motor which drives the music and the doll. Giselle will dance for more than 10 minutes with a hypnotic twirling up and down motion. As she bobs up and down she is propelled around in both directions by the tips of her toes kicking off from the floor at each descent. The effect is random but strangely appears to be in time to the music. The music plays as she dances.
The doll is all original and in fine condition, she is modelled as a ballerina. Made of a solid celluloid or early plastic with a textile and net dress. The overskirt is studded with glass mirror sequins that catch the light as she twirls.
The doll is smaller than the bisque and wood 19th century versions of the Giselle automaton and as such is rare, this is the only example we have seen. The doll may be smaller but the box and mechanism are the same substantial size. The automaton is identical except for the size and material of the ballerina but the price is half that of a similar condition 19th century Giselle.