French Automaton Doll, ca. 1900
Appraised Value: $12,000 - $15,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 4
Appraisal Video: (1:55)
GUEST: As a small boy, my father ran a boat for some people in northwestern Montana, and his employer's wife gave this to my mother and dad when I was probably two or three years old.
GUEST: I was very fascinated with it when I got an opportunity to see it.
APPRAISER: Well, what you have here is an automaton, which is a French clockwork doll or music box. Not really made for children-- it's made by a man, Leopold Lambert, in Paris between 1889 and 1900. We'll start him up... (plays music) And this particular automaton has, let's see, one, two, three, four, five movements. The more movements an automaton has, the more value they have. The nice part about this piece is it's completely, totally original-- there's no redressing, no repainting, there's no cracking to the papier-mâchè. Lambert's mark is marked on his key. On the back of this box-- we turn it around even while it's playing-- you'll see the key which says "LB," which is revolving while we're talking. Close that up again, turn him around... Any idea to the value of the piece?
GUEST: I have no idea whatsoever, Richard.
APPRAISER: I've seen these things bring, in fair condition, between $6,000 and $8,000.
APPRAISER: Now, this one is absolutely perfect-- original silk clothing, original wig, hat, shoes, music plays. I would place him in the range between $12,000 to $15,000.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2013 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.