(French Sand-Operated Automaton).
(Paris: c. 1850). Cased stipple-engraved picture, hand-colored, with cut-out figures. Image is circular and measures seven inches in diameter, within a frame that measures 12 by 14 by 3 inches. The picture shows a boy playing the pipe and drums, while activating a pair of dancing dolls on a plank of wood with his foot. This tableau is set by the wall of a dwelling, and three children look on, one of whom leans out the window of the dwelling. Turning the piece around feeds the fine sand into the mechanism, causing the boy to bang his drum and tap his right foot, both of which are hinged. This is accomplished via a system of wheels and levers. A printed label on the glass-covered mechanism reads "Tableaux Mecaniques Circulaire Brevete" and contains brief operating instructions in French. Several old repairs to black frame, which is worn at corners, crack to glass covering mechanism, few small areas of color rubbed in image. (Item ID: 18271)