cover image Mechanical Dolls of Monte-Carlo

Mechanical Dolls of Monte-Carlo

Rizzoli, Bordeau, Andre Soriano. Rizzoli International Publications, $45 (172pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-0679-9

The mechanical dolls depicted here, collected by a Monaco resident named Madeleine de Galea during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, are on display at the National Museum of Monte Carlo. Bordeau, the museum's curator, and Battaini, Monaco's Minister of Culture, discuss the lure of mechanical dolls, from ancient Egyptian animated statues used in religious ceremonies to present-day robots. Captions to the magnificent color and black-and-white photos of the Galea collection explain the mechanical movements of the dolls: a little boy spins a top, a sinuous snake charmer dances nude, a painter sketches portraits, monkeys play in an orchestra; there are hookah and cigarette smokers, conjurors and acrobats. These wonderous collectibles are a delight. November