Automata: Life & Other Illusions
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/24/2019
“Piano Watteau” Pianist Automaton. Paris: Vichy, ca. 1890s. Seated at a cream piano-harp with lyre-shaped foot pedal, adorned with gilt ornaments including five cherubs, roses, berries, and floral garlands. Pianist a female figure with papier-mache head and hands, glass eyes, and closed mouth, white mohair wig, sits with crossed legs in an original silk and lace dress and high-collared floral top, lace stockings, and slippers. On a wooden platform. Key and pull-lever at right side of piano. When wound, four tunes play in succession, as the pianist turns her head side to side, blinking her eyes and running her hands along keyboard, and occasionally stopping and pressing down quickly with her hands and shoulders as if striking staccato notes. Height 27”. One piano leg detached from platform and will require repair; some ornaments partly detached or slightly chipped; face with craquelure and retouching. Traditionally said to have been smuggled out of Paris before World War II along with other treasures from a wealthy Frenchman's family and sold to an attaché to General Douglas MacArthur. The piece was located in Honolulu until it was auctioned in 1984 and, most recently, in 2006. VIEW VIDEO
“Piano Watteau” Pianist Automaton.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $7,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $9,000.00
Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000
Number Bids: 2
Auction closed on Saturday, August 24, 2019.
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