London, South Kensington
31 May 2007
A fine Tightrope Balancer automaton attributed to Phalibois
the garden scene set with central tree in bloom, decorated with silk flowers with painted highlights, the lower canopy with two birds in blue and bottle-green plumage, the trunk with further painted textures in brown, tightrope acrobat girl with bisque head, composition hands, dressed in 18th-century style performer's clothes, holding blue chevron flags in each hand, below blue cord rope supported by 'A' frame, two girl musicians in similar outfits seated upon naturalistic ground with further flowers, playing an oboe and violin, actions for head, arms, hands and acrobat balance illusion actuated with tabatiêre musical movement playing two-airs, with pull-string wind, change/repeat and start/stop controls on right-hand side for music, above key-wind for automaton, in ebonised oval base, circa 1890 -27½in. (69.8cm) high, the base 20in. (50.8cm) wide
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A similar model made by Phalibois entitled 'The Trapeze Artist' was sold in these rooms as lot 101 on April 12 2001.
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