This clown acrobat of c.1910 is one of around 150 automata from the Michael Kam collection that feature in the Potter & Potter August 24 auction.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The auction will offer rare vintage examples of this mechanical art by such well-known names in the field as Vichy, Phalbois, Lambert and Roullet and Descamps as well as examples by modern masters.

The clown, by the French maker Louis Renou, rests his hands between two chairs and slowly raises his body until upside down. The estimate is $20,000-30,000.