“St. Dennistoun Mortuary” is a coin-operated automaton, attributed to John Dennison, c. 1900. The mahogany cabinet and glazed viewing area displays a Greek Revival mortuary building with double doors and grieving mourners out front. When a coin is inserted, doors open and the room is lighted revealing four morticians and four poor souls on embalming tables. The morticians move as if busily at work on their grisly task and mourners standing outside bob their heads as if sobbing in grief.
This automaton will be offered as Lot 207 in the Skinner Science Technology & Clocks auction in Marlborough, Massachusetts on June 2, 2012. The auction estimate for the macabre piece is $4,000-6,000.