A collection of automaton advertising signs formed for two dedicated enthusiasts over a 10-year period was offered in a sale on March 12 at the Drouot auction centre in Paris held by Auction Art Rémy le Fur (27% inc. tax buyer’s premium).
Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Anne Crane
These animated advertising panels, which were displayed in French shop windows, aimed to bring an eye catching, light-hearted touch to the promotion of everyday objects such as cleaning products, biscuits, chocolate and pharmaceutical items.
The collection, which numbered around 110 lots spanning the 20th century, had featured in a special exhibition dedicated to this particular area of promotion at the Musée National in Monaco in 2008.
Ten of the 12 highest prices were paid for automata promoting Pastilles Valda, a type of throat lozenge, featuring various mechanically moving subjects including a ship, a plane, a camel, and an elephant.
The most expensive lot was a 2ft 9in x 2ft 8in (84 x 82cm) display panel from 1929 in printed metal by Alutol of Paris (above). It is fashioned as a car with turning wheels containing an oversized box of Valda pastilles that is driven by Dr Valda who waves his arms. It realised a premium-inclusive price of €7728 (£7025).
Also up among the top-priced entries was an electrically powered painted wooden panel from the late 1930s promoting Cadum soap that was pictured in ATG 2430. It features three children in a bathtub watched by a small articulated dog.
Made by Betterway in Austria for France, it realised a premium-inclusive €4191 (£3810).