Lambert Musical Automaton, ca. 1895
Appraised Value: $8,000 - $10,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:27)
GUEST: He's an Indian music box. It belonged to my grandmother. Where she got it, I don't know. And I know that my children were very afraid of it because it moves. He smokes his "yuka” and he drinks his tea...
GUEST: ...and he has a melodic music box. When I inherited him, I brought him out
and put him in my home, and I had a fire.
GUEST: And when the firemen came in, they doused him with a little water, which... he was in pristine condition before then. But he's very old.
APPRAISER: Okay, so you really don't know any background on him at all.
GUEST: No background.
APPRAISER: He's called an automaton. And it's French and it's late 19th century, and he's both musical and mechanical. He, luckily, still retains a lot of his originality, even though the clothes are a little bit tattered, and you have some peeling on his hands. Still working, needs a little bit of adjustment. He, luckily, didn't get burned. He got a little bit water-damaged. It's nice to find one of these things that were actually in a family in America for quite a while. You see more of them in Europe than you do in the States. The very pretty automatons with the bisque porcelain heads, doll collectors today, really,
like music box collectors, love these because they have lots of action. Now, there's two different companies that produced this. This is by a company called Lambert. He moves his head, moves his hands, smokes his hookah, drinks his tea. If it were the other company, it's worth a little bit more. In this condition right now-- which is rough but I've seen them rougher-- your guy would probably retail at the $8,000 to $10,000 price.
GUEST: Oh, my! Oh, my!
APPRAISER: Even in this shape.
GUEST: Oh! Oh, my! Oh...!
APPRAISER: If you want to put a little more money in him-- maybe $2,000, maybe $3,000-- he could be restored, restored properly-- the papier-m‚chÈ fixed, the clothing fixed up-- you don't want to change it.
APPRAISER: That would probably put him in the price range of $15,000 to $20,000.
GUEST: Oh, my! Richard! I cannot believe it!
APPRAISER: So you have a great guy.
GUEST: I cannot believe...
APPRAISER: We'll wind him up a little bit and let him go.
(gentle melody playing)
GUEST: Oh, Richard, I cannot believe this! I'm so happy!
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