Roullet et Decamps Cow



  • £1,800.00
  • €1,953 Euro
  • $2,224 US Dollar

United Kingdom

Hoarde Vintage Member since 2017
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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
Dimensions in inches: H 17” x W 24” x D 0.7”
Age: 1880 - 1890
Material: Papier Mache, Velour, Wood, Brass, Glass
Origin: French
Condition: 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.
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.



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It’s quite simple. We buy what we like. We believe that extraordinary items are owned by extraordinary people who live in extraordinary spaces. We are driven by the passion to unearth and offer the most unusual, decorative and rarest objects.

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