Very rare antique sand automata of Monsieur Jules Leotard - famed for not only being an amazing trapeze artist, but also for his tight fitting attire, which came to be named after him. The acrobat performs a varying routine for a few minutes, against a theatrical backdrop, by way of a mechanism comprising a hopper filled with sand, and a mill wheel which rotates the figure (the details can be seen in our other sand automata listing). The box is rotated twice to fill the hopper with sand, then placed on a table to watch the routine in awe. Dating from circa 1865, it is in great condition, with signs of age and use, but still fully operational.
Monsieur Leotard inspired the 1867 musical hall song 'The Flying Trapeze', which was later changed to 'The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze'. The lyrics were written by British singer George Leybourne, with music by Gaston Lye and arrangement by Alfred Lee. The toy was manufactured by WH Cremer of 27 New Bond St, London (gold label on the interior and additional label on the rear) - reportedly suppliers to the Royal Family, Courts of Prussia, France & Austria.
Note, we have another similar sand automata for sale (see final photo) - this is sold seperately, and can be found in our other listing. Price is for the Leotard automata only.
Measures: 9½" (24cm) tall x 8" (20cm) wide x 3½" (9cm deep)
Available to view at our showroom in Chicklade, Wiltshire - by appointment only
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