I have long had a delightful fascination with automaton and their uniquely choreographed movements. There is just something so entrancing about their robotic, yet almost humanly fluid abilities and the life that they display is magical. Even the simplest of automaton can mesmerize me and bring a smile to my face. One of my favorite automatons is this one…
It was created by Peter Kintzing and presented to Marie Antoinette at Versailles in 1784. She bought it and lent some of her own hair to make the bouffant! It’s now at the Academy of Sciences and it still functions, as the gorgeous video shows (yeah, I know – the video is in a different language. At least the beauty of the automaton transcends language barriers!).
This guy is the mysterious Henri Maillardet Automaton that was built in 1805 who was acquired by Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute in 1928 in about, oh, a gazillion pieces or so. After it was carefully rebuilt and a pen was placed into it’s hand, they wound him up and he reveled his origins in one of the poems he wrote out when ‘written by the automaton of Maillardet’ appeared. He is an amazing automaton, with one of the largest memories (He creates four drawings and three poems (two in French and one in English)) and the fact that he wasn’t lost in the P.T. Barnum museum fire as was originally believed is a great boon for us today. Isn’t history fun?!
Namaste ~ Ella