Roullet et Decamps
19th Century Roullet et Decamps Automaton Cow
We are proud to offer a rare circa 1880 automaton mooing cow, attributed to Roullet et Decamps and large. This item is rare due to its fully working condition, large size and overall condition. A hand-crafted papier Mache structure covered in velour aged fabric and standing firm on a wooden pull along stand with brass wheels. The cow operates by moving the head from left to right, which activates an internal bellows mechanism releasing a mooing sound, which exits from a pipe under the neck section. The figure amazingly still has its original glass eyes, wooden hand carved udders and horns still in place. The craftsmanship of this figure is absolutely wonderful as the skeleton frame is visible under the covering fabric and the mooing sound is still very clear and smooth.
The working mechanism can be viewed at https://www.instagram.com/p/CB2xIbMn2EHXqCySmd4IbXeGU2eEEC8t-iTGAU0/
Dimensions in inches: H 17” x W 24” x D 7”
Age: 1880 – 1890
Material: Papier Mache, Velour, Wood, Brass, Glass
History: Roullet & Decamps was a French toy manufacturing company operating in the 19th and 20th centuries, which specialized in production of automata. The company’s history started in 1866 when Jean Roullet opened a small workshop in Paris, where he made mechanical toys. One inventor offered him the drawings of an automaton of a doll- gardener carrying a cart. Due to his own well-organized production of cogwheels and other mechanical details Roullet managed to start the circulation of doll-automata quite fast. It was the first cheap mechanical toy of such complexity. The gardener’s mechanism was later used in the creation of other automata.
The workshop received the first bronze medal at the World Fair in 1867. In 1879, Roullet’s daughter Henriette married the workshop’s mechanical engineer Ernest Dekamp. Common efforts of Roullet and Dekamp made it possible to expand the variety and volume of production to a high extend. After the great success at the Paris exhibition in 1889, the family firm was reorganized and renamed to Roullet & Decamps.
This item is completely solid in structure and form. Aging has taken place due to its age and use over all the surface leaving a wonderfully aged patination and highly decorative look. The papier mache snout is weathered, the velour fabric is faded and worn in areas, the left hand side legs have aged repairs across the knee sections (these are firm in place and not loss). The tail is also worn at the section that attaches to the rear, all 4 hoof sections are weather and worn (made from papier mache) but rigidly attached to the wooden base. The neck section on this item is also worn and weathered, and amazingly has survived over 100 years, it’s very fragile but still hold the mechanism in place. we strongly suggest you propose question before a purchase is made to avoid any confusion or disappointment.
Please get in touch in advance of a purchase if you based outside of the UK to clarify P&P on this item as this varies dependent upon your global location. Global shipping is possible so please view all shipping details as explained. With items of this fragile and rare nature we always recommend recorded/tracked postage with adequate insurance cover. This may cost a bit more, but at least you are covered from accidents that may take place whilst in transit.
We do our upmost to relay descriptions and the origin of items sold in our store. We also aim to visualise through pictorial reference the items that are for sold as best we can. The disclaimer is for the customer and makes sure assumptions that can sometimes be made are avoided. We always aim to make sure our customers are not disappointed or misinformed about items that are for sale in our store. For this reason, we strongly recommend that relevant questions relating to the item in question are proposed to us directly, additionally all photographs are used as reference and as part of the advertisement.
We aim to ship your purchased item in 2 to 3 working days. The item is packed well and shipped via Parcelforce or Royal mail. Additional to this we used a few carefully selected couriers in the UK to deliver our most fragile or larger item. The courier option is applied at the buyer’s cost, so please get in touch with us directly for further information.
Cancellation / Refunds
We are unable to refund any item which is purchased unless the item is different from what is described in the advert stated. We go to a lot of effect to ensure our customers are happy with their items and purchases. Therefore, we strongly suggest the customer consider the purchase/view all pictures and close ups and propose as many questions via email before a purchase is made. We do no refund our customers if they choose to change their mind about the purchase unfortunately, we will however offer a full refund of the item (excluding postage) if the item once received is not as described, this however can only take place within 48hr of the item being received by the customer. Once an item has been received and if a cancellation has been agreed by The House of Antiques management team, the customer is liable for the cost and insurance of postage if the item needs to be sent back to us in London.
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