Auctioneers and Appraisers

*Banjo Player Automaton by Gustav Vichy

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Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 3003M
Date / Time :
April 28, 2017 10:00AM


*Banjo Player Automaton by Gustav Vichy, Paris, France, c. 1900, the black musician with a striped band wheat straw skimmer hat atop of his head, black and burgundy striped silk ruffled shirt, black velvet waist vest with watch chains draped to his vest pockets, and holding a five-string banjo, when the clockwork movement is activated, music begins and the musician starts strumming the banjo, turns, cocks his head, blinks his glass eyes, and sticks out his tongue, all mounted to a center molded pedestal base with small brass plaque below reading in part G. Vichy Modele Depose/5 Articles Francais, ht. 19 in.

Note: This automaton was passed down through the present owner's family, remaining in the family estate in Ossining, New York, until the 1960s. In the 1970s the restoration of this piece began under the guidance of Art Sanders, who owned the Lamplighter Shop and Musical Museum in Deansboro, New York. The Musical Museum, founded by Sanders, was known for its collection and expertise in musical instruments and automatons.
Estimate $1,500-2,500

mechanism and movements work perfectly, velvet vest with tag reading "Zosia Design Utica N.Y.," later burgundy lined and carved base or plinth with a glass cover accompany the lot, rear glass is broken

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Gustav Vichy, Art Sanders, Deansboro, Ossining, Paris, France, 4-string banjo, African-American music, Automaton, Banjo, Bluegrass music, Music, Sanders