Dear MMDs, A lively auction was organized on the 4th December by the
auction house "La Galerie de Chartres" (France), with nearly 300 items.
Many automatas by Lambert, Roullet-Decamps, Vichy, etc., fetched very
high prices (several tens of thousand euros each) due to a severe
competition between buyers from Europe, America and Russia, the latter
being the most successful.
In more affordable prices, I noticed a beautiful crawling Panther by
Decamps, for 3000 euros, and a charming musical teckel also by Decamps
for 420 euros. (1 euro = ca. 1.15 USD. Add 15% premium.)
Mechanical music instruments fetched more varied results :-
- An exceptional Davrainville "manivelle" dance organ, 29 keys,
3 stops, went for 15500 euros.
- An 8 tunes Bruder-Gavioli-Limonaire portable organ, 26 keys, with
superb playing, went for 16000 euros.
- Several good barrel pianos made between 1800 and 4400 euros. An
electrically operated Kuhl Klatt in Berlin electro-pneumatic piano,
with beautiful mandoline effect, went for 4800 euros.
- Many cylinder musical boxes, even of good quality, were unsold.
There seems to be a gap in this market, due to various factors which it
would be too long although very interesting to analyse here. Otherwise
very few items were unsold in the other categories of this auction.
- Disc musical boxes are more in demand, for example a musical
Christmas tree stand, for 2600 euros.
- Many musical novelties were sold easily, e.g., two examples of small
dancing dolls on musical base ("Gisèle") for 550 and 600 euros. Many
cigar dispensers, musical photo album and musical tiles, and even a
musical toilet paper dispenser (100 euros).
- Several musical clock pictures, around 2000 euros each, and two
animated musical pictures : one with three joiners in their workshop,
for 6000 euros, and a beautiful scene with tight rope dancer and
acrobats, under glass dome, for 15000 euros.
- Two bird cages by Bontems, with two birds, a very classical one for
4200 euros, and an exceptionally well shaped similar cage fetching the
record price of 37000 euros. A good bush with twitting birds went for
- A good serinette of the beginning of the XIXth c., in need of
restoration, went for 600 euros. There were also two similar
"Merlines" for 500 and 1900 euros.
- There were also documentation, good period postcards, etc., and
several fairground artifacts (carrousel horses by Muller, 3600 euros,
and Bayol at 2400 euros), and a "Mickey skiing" for 3200 euros;
- and many phonographs and related materials.
To view the catalogue (in English and French), the results, and the
past auctions in Chartres (thanks to Robbie Rhodes, Joyce Brite and
Jody Kravitz) see http://mmd.foxtail.com/Auctions/ and
The next specialised auction in Chartres will be in May 2006.
See the calendar of most European auctions on the agenda of
Philippe Rouillé (Paris, France)