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Watch a demonstration of Queen Marie Antoinette's Automaton playing one of eight melodies it can perform.
David Roentgen (1743–1807) took his royal patron by surprise when he delivered this beautiful automaton to King Louis XVI for his queen, Marie Antoinette, in 1784. The cabinetry for this piece is very much a neoclassical masterwork, and the mechanism behind it is truly extraordinary: the figure strikes the strings in perfect rhythm with two small metal hammers held in her hands, which move with great precision.
This object, from the Musée des arts et métiers de Paris, is featured in the exhibition Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens (on view October 30, 2012–January 27, 2013).
View a full documentary featuring this object: http://www.cerimes.fr/le-catalogue/la-joueuse-de-tympanon.html
Footage courtesy of CERIMES.
David Roentgen: Long-Case Clock
The Roentgens' Berlin Secretary Cabinet
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Rolltop Desk by David Roentgen: Demonstration
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Rolltop Desk by David Roentgen: Animation
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Vase with cover
Standing cup with cover (Vase couty or coupe couty)
Medici vase with a scene of the château at Saint-Cloud (one of a pair)
Vase (Jasmin Japonais)
Vase (Vase gothique Fragonard) (one of a pair)
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This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 554
Signature: J.M.H. (in red inside foot)Inscription: Copernicus: (in gold panel below) Copernic. Systeme planétaire
(in banderoles) Motu/octave spherae
(in shield above) Thom.
Gutenberg: (in panel below) Guttemberg invente l'imprimerie en 1446
(in banderoles) abcdefghilm(n)o/...eccellisMarking:  Crowned monogram LP, SEVRES 1844 printed in blue (factory mark 1834-48)
 32-2 incised
 unidentified mark incised
[ sale, Arcole , Paris, 27 June 1989, lot 82 ] ; Guy Stair Sainty
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