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Tag Archives: automaton video

Musical Automaton Picture Clock: Low Tech Entertainment

Gilt-framed Musical Automaton Picture Clock Depicting a Farrier's Shop

One of our most interesting offerings in our October 31st Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments auction is this gilt-framed musical automaton picture clock of a Blacksmith’s Shop (Lot 457, Estimate $5,000-$7,000), attributed to Xavier Tharin, c. 1880.

Automatons go as far back as the middle ages but some people refer to the  mid 19th to early 20th century as the “Golden Age” of automata making. The industry was thriving in Paris during that time with makers like Vichy, Lambert and Roullet & Decamps.… Read More

Watch a Video of a Macabre Automaton: St. Dennistoun Mortuary

“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.