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MMD > Archives > May 2008 > 2008.05.26 > 01Prev  Next

Prices Paid at Chartres Auction 25 May 2008
By Philippe Rouillé

Dear MMDs,  The large specialized auction for automata and mechanical
music which was held in Chartres (France) on May 25th was a success,
even though the market is difficult at the moment and the euro very
expensive against the dollar.

More than 250 lots were for sale, with the presence of French but also
many international buyers, from Europe and America.  (To convert the
total hammer price in euros plus the premium into dollars, just add ca.
75 per cent).

Automatas :

 - A good Phalibois theater of three monkeys, conjuror and musicians,
12,500 euros

 - Two fine Vichy automaton of women, one at her dressing table
(34,000 euros) and another one with a bird (18,000 euros)

 - A conjuror by Lambert, for 20,000 euros

 - A doll animating a puppet theater, by Renou, for 40,000 euros

 - An exceptional character in wood and iron, to be completed, in the
period of Robert-Houdin or perhaps earlier, 5500 euros

 - The two comic clowns by Vichy Triboulet, on the cover of the catalogue
[lot no. 544], although rare, were unsold.

And many other smaller and less expensive, sometimes electrical,
automata, prices beginning at a few hundred euros.

Mechanical Music :

 - Many small artifacts or novelties (musical alarm clocks, tiles,
dishes, etc.), and many cylinder and disc boxes, and some organettes
and barrel pianos (which have become a bit difficult to sell !).

 - Several singing birds by Flajoulot(?) (5500 euros), Griesbaum (1200
to 2200 euros), Bontems, and a rare clock with singing bird in the
base, from the beginning of the XXth c. (15,000 euros)

And also a singing bird mechanism in a square wooden box, by Bontems
(700 euros).  We wonder what was its use: to call other real birds?
to perform imitation of singing birds in a theater? Has anyone an idea?

 - A good and large late musical box with a singing bird inside
a garden, needing some further restoration, for 13,000 euros.

 - Several good "Prag" movements by Rzebitchek and others, with or
without original case, from 450 to 1700 euros.

 - Several boxes for the Chinese market (with tunesheets or the Chinese
tunes!) from 500 to 700 euros.

 - A very good Turkish portable street piano [laterna], with original
fabrics decorated with pearls, for 7800 euros.

 - A good Limonaire organ, 35 keys with drums, original condition but
needing some further restoration, ca 1910, for 6000 euros.

Also fairground fixtures, phonographs, etc.

The next auction in Chartres will be held in December 2008.

The English and French catalogues, with or without images (as well
as catalogues of previous auctions), and the prices fetched are posted
on the MMD web site at

Thanks again to Robbie, Joyce and Jody.

Kind regards from France,
Philippe Rouillé

(Message sent Mon 26 May 2008, 10:08:00 GMT, from time zone GMT+0100.)

Key Words in Subject:  2008, 25, Auction, Chartres, May, Paid, Prices

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