Friday, February 08, 2013

Clown Illusionist automaton by Phalibois performs bizarre decapitation routine

Back in December I posted about magician Pierre Mayer's new clown automaton. In the post, I explained that the illusion is a venerable one and made reference to a similar piece by Phalibois. Here is the Phalibois automaton in question.

Like Mayer's piece, this automaton depicts a clown doing a famous decapitation illusion. Because it is a much large piece, it incorporates a music box which also served to drive the mechanism. There are also a few other added surprises in store for the viewer. The automaton was made in Paris by either Henri or Jean Phalibois somewhere between 1890 and 1900. The entire things measures 33-1/2" high by 15-3/4" wide by 19-1/8" deep.

This delightful pieces is located at The Morris Museum, part of the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Automatic Musical Instruments & Automata housed there.

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