Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Automaton in the form of a chariot pushed by a Chinese attendant and set with a clock

James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800)
British, London
Case: gold with diamonds and paste jewels set in silver, pearls; Dial: while enamel; Movement: partly gilded brass and steel, wheel balance and cock of silver set with paste jewels
Overall: 10 1/4 × 6 3/8 × 3 1/4 in. (26 × 16.2 × 8.3 cm)
Metalwork-Gold and Platinum
Credit Line:
The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 540
James Cox produced lavishly ornamented articles for trade with Asia. In China, his products were well-received and called “toys” or “sing-songs.” Originally one of a pair, this automaton was commissioned by the English East India Company for presentation to the emperor of China. The chariot’s wheels are driven by a spring, and tiny levers activate the whirligig held in the lady’s left hand and the wings of the bird in her right.
Signature: Signed on dial: Jas Cox/ London
baron Alfred Charles de Rothschild (by 1884) ; Jack and Belle Linsky , New York (until 1982; to MMA)
Related Objects

Miniature secretary incorporating a watch

Artist: James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800) Date: ca. 1766–72 Medium: Case: agate, with gold mounts, gilded brass, pearls, and paste jewels set in silver; Dial: white enamel; Movement: wheel balance and cock set with paste jewels Accession: 46.184a–c On view in:Gallery 510

Jewel cabinet with watch

Artist: James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800) Date: probably ca. 1765–70 Medium: Case: agate, mounted in gilded copper and gilded brass and set with painted enamel on copper plaques, and fruitwood; Dial: white enamel Accession: 64.101.829 On view in:Not on view


Artist: Watchmaker: James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800) Date: ca. 1770–72 Medium: Case: moss agate, mounted in gold and set with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds; silver; Dial: white enamel, with frame pavé-set with paste jewels Accession: 57.128a–o On view in:Gallery 510

Pair-case automaton watch

Artist: James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800) Date: ca. 1770 Medium: Outer case: gold, partly enameled and set with gemstones and paste jewels; Inner case: gold; Dial: white enamel, with frame set with paste jewels; Movement: with diamond endstone Accession: 1977.436.4 On view in:Gallery 510