Lambert Magician Automaton, ca. 1900
I inherited it from my mom. She was given this in 1931 by a friend of the family's. And prior to that, it had been in a window display at Macy's in downtown San Francisco.
And, you know, it's an automaton.
And it was made by a French firm, Lambert. Leopold Lambert was one of the great makers of French automatons, starting in the late 19th century and well into the early part of the 20th century. This is a classic. It's a magician. When it operates, he bangs the cone with his wand two or three times, lifts it, and various things appear. All this is accompanied by a music box. These were made not as toys. These were made for the well-to-do to decorate their homes and to intrigue children, but they were not to touch. They were fairly expensive in their day. After winding it, we pull this, and let's see the action. (music playing) As if by magic, the watch is gone.
The values fluctuate depending on condition. This one has some condition issues, it has some condition pluses. It needs some mechanical work. It has a little fraying on the collar here. This example would fall in the range for an auction estimate of somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000.
Wow, that's crazy. I didn't realize it would be that much.
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Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
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