Monday, April 28, 2008

Vichy Automaton of a Drunkard on Park Bench

Here is a short video of an automaton by Vichy depicting a drunken man on a park bench. I find the figure's movements very convincing: the sloppy swaying and shifting, the heavy eyelids, the silently muttering to himself.

Vichy was known for the subtlety of motion their automata possessed. Vichy showed several automata at Paris Universal Exposition of 1878. One observer noted that, "...Vichy's automata are distinguished by the flexibility and precision of their gestures...". One hundred and thirty years later, I can't argue.

Vichy is one of one of several French automaton makers covered in the large format hardcover Automata: The Golden Age 1848-1914

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2 Comments:

Blogger Bob Quinn said...

The muttering is a detail I don't think I would have thought to put in.

Very cool!

April 28, 2008 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Dug North said...

bob quinn,

I wonder if perhaps the timing of the arm and the head/mouth have become out of synch.

I'm thinking that perhaps the original motion was meant have the man raises the bottle to his face, then his mouth moves as if he is drinking the liquid.

Just a theory. I'll ask an expert I know I know about it.

Best,

Dug North

April 28, 2008 at 10:39 AM  

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