A fabulous and rare antique leaping and growling lion automaton, by Roullet & Decamps,
R&D catalogue number 74
The leader of the pack is ready to attack!
When wound and the start/stop pull actuated, the perfectly modelled king of the pride starts his attack by nodding his head up and down three times whilst opening and closing his jaw to reveal full set of sharp teeth, until on the fourth nod, his hind legs naturally fold down to crouching position and his roar gets louder and louder before very suddenly his legs spring up, forcing his whole body forward with a superb pounce, starting over with the nods and leap again and again.
The body of moulded and shaped papier-mâché, finished in short hair hide with bushy mane of slight darker tones, glass eyes, painted teeth with tongue detail, tail swept downwards and trailing behind the magnificent beast, start/stop to underside and winding spindle to side.
size TO MEASURE
Point of interest -
Well, if it is a touch of the wild you require, look no further.
Continuing the many models they produced for the amusement of adults and as a follow up to the prowling white Bengal tiger, R&D scored full marks with this wonderful lion who leaps forward, scaring the audience with his surprise action. Produced by a powerful spring to the hind legs, the single spring motor has been perfectly adjusted to tension this spring and release without power loss, even when the wind is close to finishing.
The growl is created by the end of a stout metal strip coming into contact with a part cogged edge cam, timed to actuate when the hind legs start to lower and the jaw is opening for the fourth time.
Another superb example of an automaton which has a small, visually non-descript motor driving a mechanism of such admired output. The effect produced is R&D magic - realistic life movements in miniature.