A very rare Phalibois Automaton the 'Whistler'


Rare Automaton Whistler by Henry Phalibois, with papier-mache character head modeled with puckered, slightly-open lips, defined cheek bones, slender neck, threaded blue paperweight eyes and articulated "dancing" eyelids, elegantly posed with arched back and stomach pushed forwards, his right hand with index finger oustreteched, articulated from the elbow with the lever passing through the side of his torso, his left hand nonchalantly thrust into his trouser pocket, on velvet-covered base containing going-barrel mechanism with bellows causing the figure to tilt his head from side to side, winking impertinately at hi audience, and raising and lowering his outstretched left hand as though keeping time to the tune, in probably original midnight-blue velvet jacket, breeches and beret, leather shoes, stockings, and later shirt and collar, ht. 34in
See Bailly, Automata, the Golden Age, p165 for an identical model. . In 1895, Henry Phalibois advertised "figures playing instruments, speaking, singing, whistling, laughing". Many of his automata did all five things at once, although this Whistler is more restrained. Depicting a Parisian street urchin, he appears on Phalibois' letter head and advertisements at the turn of the century, and was evidently considered by his creator as something of a mascot for the new direction the firm was taking in the creation of large, character driven pieces that depict raffish characters with surpirsing, often vulgar actions. Circa 1900 34 Inches High
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A very rare Phalibois Automaton the 'Whistler'
A very rare Phalibois Automaton the 'Whistler'A very rare Phalibois Automaton the 'Whistler'A very rare Phalibois Automaton the 'Whistler'A very rare Phalibois Automaton the 'Whistler'
 
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