ANRI bar scenes come in many styles. The one above is shown with the primary figure, the musician, in two different ways. On the Left, the accordion player is dressed in street clothes, while on the right, he is dressed as a sailor. The bartender is always the same bald fellow, with big blue eyes, but the patrons around the bar vary. Any number of heads were used, and as can be seen above, their legs change from piece to piece. They might be crossed at the knee, ankle, or not crossed at all.
On the right, the scene is complete and original, and includes a mirrored back bar. It is likely that the one on the left once had a mirror, too. Around the bar you can see bottles, mugs, and cups, most painted red and white. Lifting them reveals that they are attached to cocktail toothpicks.
Each of the pieces shown have a music box, and a mechanism which causes
the bartender to tap his mug on the top of the bar when the music plays.
Lifting his head reveals that he is a corkscrew, the accordion player's
head is attached to a bottle opener (cap lifter) and the others are stoppers.
The sign, which is very faded, but legible, reads, COTTON CLUB MEMBERS ONLY. The standing figure, dressed as a porter in a blue uniform, is a corkscrew. The man in the top hat is a stopper, and the man in the red cap, seated on the left, is also a cork stopper. Note the little suitcase on the left front of the base. Suitcases usually signal the addition of a music box, but not on this one. The elements on the table top represent a bottle, glasses, and an old fashioned radio/phonograph with a round speaker. This is my prized possession.
Here are two other examples of ANRI bar scenes. On the left, a wine cellar scene with a trio of Monks. Their heads are a corkscrew, a cap lifter, and a stopper. This is a good example of the different carving techniques used for the many, many ANRI faces. It's obvious that the Monk on the far left was carved by a different artist than the one on the far right. Newer examples of this scene have less detail in the "brick like" painting on the back wall, and less care and detail were given the bodies of the Monks. You may find this scene with the three characters in different positions around the barrel, and music boxes are optional.
The ANRI scene on the right is called AMOR BAR. This particular
piece is missing its music box, but you can see the hole in the table cloth
(near the right center) where the key once was. I have since acquired
a perfect piece with a working music box, which includes a mechanism that
causes the little ballerina, "table dancer," to twirl and bob up and down
to the music. The standing waiter is a cap lifter, the four patrons
are stoppers, and the corkscrew is neatly disguised as the lamp in the
light pole. Remember, faces will vary as you go in search of these
little art works, so don't be put off by a face not seen here.
Although the wine barrel has what looks like the date 1905 painted on it, the ANRI company wasn't founded until 1912, so even if this piece was made in their first year the date is misleading. This fooled Christie's but didn't fool me. It's probably from the 20's.
The man with his arms wrapped around his knees, left front, is a cap
lifter. The two figures in the upright barrels are stoppers, and
the corkscrew is cleverly hidden in the cat. It is musical, including
a ballerina figure, but she is better articulated than the others I have,
and her dress is much finer; gold lame' with pink polka dots, in fact,
and as always, she dances as the music plays.