A fine and rare coin-operated carousel musical automaton, almost certainly made in Switzerland circa 1895 by Bornand Frères, sold for £13,000 (plus buyer’s premium) in Tennants Auctioneers’ Scientific and Musical Instruments, Cameras and Tools Sale on 1st February. Housed in a beautifully made glazed case, the carousel included horses with riders, sleigh chairs and bisque doll figures under a big-top canopy roof and a six-air key-wind Forte-Piccolo cylinder movement.
Also selling well above estimate, and hailing from the same private collection, was a very rare ‘Artistic Painter’ musical automaton, made in France circa 1890 by Gustave Vichy (sold for £8,500). Dressed in silk and velvet, the artist is seated with sketch pad and pencil, and it played two airs from a direct drive cylinder musical movement. A further lot from the collection, an interesting ‘Minor Overture’ Key-Wind Musical Box thought to have been made by either Lecoultre or Ducommun Girod circa 1837-40, sold for £7,000. The musical box was inscribed with the importer’s details ‘Shindel & Co., S. Brideswell St., Bristol’, and it is classed as a ‘Minor Overture’ due to the proportions of the cylinder.