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Friday, 23 November 2012 12:17

Two automatons at IMA

Maison Lambert - Le Fumeur de Narguilé, 1885 - Automate - Collection NMNM Maison Lambert - Le Fumeur de Narguilé, 1885 - Automate - Collection NMNM

 
In the frame of Les Mille et Une Nuits, the new exhibition presented by the Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA), Paris, The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco has lent two automatons from the de Galéa collection. Amongst the automatons inspired by the oriental culture, the IMA chose the famous Charmeuse de Serpent (The Snake Charmer), 1890 created by Maison Roullet-Decamps and Le Fumeur de Narguilé (The Hoookah Smoker), 1885 created by Maison Lambert.
 
The snake charmer, “Zulma” knew a lot a success at the time it was built. Her body of statuesque beauty wears an oriental outfit, in vogue in the 1980’s. Her jewelry and bracelets hide her arms’ articulations. The mechanism used here is very complex. She nods her head, blows in her trumpet to charm the snake which she moves closer and away from her face while the latter undulates and almost comes to life. Her mobile eyelids give her and intense expression.
 
The second piece chosen by IMA in the de Galéa Collection belongs to the smoking automatons series. Le Fumeur de Narguilé (The Hookah Smoker) was built by Maison Lambert in 1885. This automaton, also wearing an oriental outfit, is always represented in the same position, seated cross-legged on a plinth hiding its mechanism and the music box. There is only a very small number of this automaton left throughout the world today. He successively drings and smokes his hookah. It is important to note that these automatons let out actual smoke therefore giving the illusion of a real smoker.
 

Exhibition Les Mille et Une Nuits, November 27 2012 - April 28 2013
Institut du Monde Arabe,
1, rue des Fossés-Saint-Bernard, Place Mohammed-V
75005 - Paris

For more information : http://www.imarabe.org

 
 
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