17 February 2009

The National Museum - the Pianist Harpist

This is another automaton and was made around 1870 by the Maison Vichy. This company existed in France from 1862 - 1904. In fact all the manufacturers of automatons ceased production with the First World War, except one, that of Maison Descamps.

On the 1st March, the Villa Sauber, the building that houses this magnificent collection of dolls and automatons will close for 4 months during which time it will be restored to its magnificent Belle Epoque glory and will re-open as the New National Museum of Monaco in July.

The display of Madeleine de Galea's collection of dolls and automatons won't be displayed until the end of 2010. Many need restoration having deteriorated during the 30 years they have been displayed. When the collection is re-opened to the public, there will be even more dolls and automatons on display and more of the later will be demonstrated to the public. There have always been too many to display at the same time and so in future parts of the collection will be rotated so all can seen at one time or another.


Nathalie H.D. said...

That's where having sound and movement would be wonderful, wouldn't it?

I like your photo very much nevertheless. It's such a testimony to refinement and elegance, isn't it?

Nathalie H.D. said...

I loved your story of Madame de Galea's life.

I loved her portrait too. You hardly needed to tell us it was by Renoir, his work is always so instantly recognisable, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

These things are amazing to watch and to think when they were made is even more amazing to me.

Brookville Daily Photo

Hilda said...

I'm sure the museum and its displays would be even more wonderful after the renovation. Madame de Galea's collection is just stunning.

Sharon said...

This is amazing!!

Laurie Allee said...


Anonymous said...

This is indeed a wow piece. it's fabulous what most of us wouldn't give to have a armoire decorated with flowers and trim colors that this has--perhaps with white marble shelves with the top of the armoire curved and with fabulous carving and paints like the table in this pics?? ok, ok, so maybe it would be a tad bit too heavy but it's a thought wouldn't it. the outfit is marvelous. I hoped that key was for music and movement that would really be spectacular especially coming from that time period.

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