Description: Mandarin Magician Automaton Clock. Paris: J.F. Houdin, ca. 1836. Magnificent ormolu decorated eight day chiming clock atop which rests an elaborately decorated and highly detailed Mandarin conjurer, dressed in an elaborate robe with detailed floral patterns, a jaunty hat with tasseled top, and two dangling earrings. When activated, the magician nods his head, raises his hands, and in doing so causes dice, balls, pastries and other objects under the two cups held in his palms to vanish, change, and appear, a clockmakerÍs homage to the famous Cups and Balls trick favored by magicians for centuries. Face plate bears the engraved name of J.F. Houdin. Engraved in French, underneath the table skirt, into the plate covering the automatonÍs works: ñInvented and constructed at the factory of horology of J.F. Houdin, Rude Vieille Du Temple No 78, in Paris. 1836.î Clock and automaton rest on a heavy bronze base, which could accommodate a music box. Clock runs and chimes, automaton in need of readjustment and cleaning. Elements of the clock have been enthusiastically restored and some elements have been replaced, with original parts retained for historical accuracy. 12 _ x 7 _ x 18î.
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