Dear MMDs, This large auction at Galerie de Chartres, of automatas,
mechanical music, phonos, etc. (nearly 200 lots), was a success.
Most of the catalogue was published thanks to Robbie on the MMD web
site, which allowed many potential buyers from abroad to view the items
for sale, as the catalogue itself was late. (This small auction house
manages too many specialized auctions !).
Many buyers actually came from outside France : USA, Belgium, Portugal,
I shall give Robbie soon the complete listing of prices paid. Here are
some highlights of interesting items:
- Two very rare black flute player automatas by Roullet Decamps, ca.
1880 (a man playing the transverse flute, and a woman playing the Pan
flute), height ca. 5 feet, with a real 12-pipe small organ inside each
body, achieved 1.2 million francs for both together (with 11% premium,
about 190,000 US dollars).
At 1 million francs, there were yet several potential buyers bidding !
- A cloth-bound copy of Chapuis and Gelis, les Automates (2 vol.) :
7,000 FF (more than 1000 US dollars).
- Many Aristons, organettes, etc., many needing restorations, were
sold rather cheaply, for 1000 to 3000 FF (a few hundred dollars).
- A large musical clock picture, with 10-tune musical movement,
18,000 FF (ca. 3000 dollars with premium).
- A beautiful 50 cm disc vertical coin operated Kalliope musical box,
with 12 bells at will, in very good condition, was rather cheap at
50,000 FF (8,000 dollars).
- One large 49-key Limonaire (many transformations, but operating)
and a beautiful 52-key Gasparini (in original condition, but to
restore) were sold at 70,000 and 95,000 FF (with premium, ca.
11,500 and 15,500 US dollars).
- A large Austrian clock with 2 tunes Olbrich in Wien musical movement,
for 19,000 FF (ca 3,000 dollars with premium).
- A typical XVIIIth century serinette by Welters, Paris, bearing the
date of sale of 1778, complete but needing restoration, for 9000 FF
(ca. 1500 dollars with premium).
- A beautiful portable piano of 29 keys and 1 bell, with fine inlay
on the case, 23,000 FF (ca. 3,700 dollars with premium).
- A (miniature) cinema organ playing four long (and thrilling) chords
by turning a handle (thanks to a blowing mechanism with reeds),
Wolverine toy organ, went for 2,400 FF (ca. 400 dollars with premium).
Not too expensive to have a 2-manual and 1-pedal cinema organ at home !
And many other musical boxes, automatas, rolls, accessories and small
items, from a few dozen dollars to a few thousands.
The next auction in Chartres will be the 1st or 2nd Sunday in
Philippe Rouille (Paris, France)
[ Thank you, Philippe, for your prompt summary report. You spent
[ a long day in Chartres today!
[ In contrast with big auction firms like Christie's and Sotheby's,
[ and our MMDers who are commercial dealers, the Galerie de Chartres
[ is a small firm which cannot afford the annual expense of an
[ Internet web site in multiple languages, and so Philippe and
[ MMD help to publicize the Galerie's special auctions of musical
[ automata held twice each year.
[ The benefit to MMDers is the report of the prices paid: important
[ information on actual international market value that is seldom
[ found elsewhere, which will be archived at the MMD Auctions site
[ after Philippe gets some rest! :-) See the Prices Paid report
[ at http://mmd.foxtail.com/Auctions/Chartres0105/index.html
[ -- Robbie