Last Updated: 10/6/2008


"The Mechanical Dolls Of Monte Carlo," by Antoine Battaïni and Annette Bordeau and photographs by André Soriano. Published in 1985 by Rizzoli International Publications, New York. First Edition. Hard cover with dust jacket, 175 pages with 111 black-and-white and 75 color photographs. The book measures 13 inches (33 cm) high by 9-3/4 inches (25 cm) wide.

Text from the dustjacket is as follows:

"This fine colorful volume reveals the secrets of the extraordinary collection of old mechanical dolls exhibited in the National Museum at Monte-Carlo. This spectacular collection is the result of the life-long devotion of Madelaine de Galéa who, at the beginning of this century, became passionately interested in old dolls, including mechanical ones. She brought together hundreds of rare pieces, works of a by-gone age. This book shows many of the finer specimens.

The eighteenth century saw the advent of extraordinary mechanical dolls, and the fashion which grew up for these life-like figures, at first reserved for the privileged few, broadened during the nineteenth century when Paris became the manufacturing center. Among the most famous inventors and manufacturers of mechanical dolls were Roullet-Decamps, Vichy, Lambert and Phalibois.

The Galéa Collection has been lovingly preserved and cared for. The mechanisms in these dolls are delicate and they require constant maintenance and overhauling by a master technician to keep them in working order. André Soriano, who is a mechanic, photographer, and a specialist in old clocks, is their "surgeon" and protector. With intimate knowledge of his wards, he has prepared detailed captions and technical notes to accompany the photographs he has taken for this book. Annette Bordeau is Secrétaire Général of the National Museum at Monte-Carlo and Antoine Battaïni is Directeur des Affaires Culturelles in the Principality.

This is a delightful book for all lovers of antique toys and curiosities, providing us with a wealth of information about the unusual mechanical novelties that so intrigued the nineteenth century aficionado and which in recent years have become highly prized collectibles."

INDEX (listed alphabetically):
Acrobat with Ladder
Animated Picture

Banjo Player
The Body of the Mechanical Doll
Buffalo Bill

Child with Spinning Top
Clown Playing Diabolo
Clown with Parasol
Clown on Stilts
Conjurer with Fruit
Conjuring Monkey
Countryman and his Pig
Couple with Parasol

Dancing Countryman
Dancing Couple
Drum Player

Fairground Hercules
Flute Player
French Bugler

The Galea Collection

Hookah Smoker
Harp-Piano Player

Japanese Bust

Lady with Mirror
Landscape Beneath a Globe
Landscape with Bird
Large Orchestra of Monkeys
Large Smoking Monkey
Little Girl Crying
Little Guitarist
Little Smoking Monkey

Man with a Gong
Monkey Violinist
The Music of the Mechanical Doll

Oriental Dancer

The Painter Poet
Parting Kiss
Pasha Smoking a Hookah
Painter and Sculptor
Pierrot with Dogs
Pierrot Writing
Putting Her Foot in It

The Restoration of Mechanical Dolls

Scottish Bugler
Sedan Chair Group
Sentry with Bear
Shepherdess with Sheep
A Short History of Mechanical Dolls
Silhouettes of Soldiers
Smoker with Monocle
Snake Charmer
Spanish Guitarist


Young Girl with Bird
Young Lady Powdering
Young lady with Fruit
Young Lady with Parasol

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