Watch a video to find out.
Stay logged in
Go to Navigation
Go to Content
Go to Search
Search the collections
Please enable flash to view this media. Download the flash player.
Please enable flash to view this media.
Download the flash player.
Watch this surprising video of an automaton play the dulcimer.
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).
See the full video: 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
(00:02:20) 10613 views
Rolltop Desk by David Roentgen: Demonstration
(00:02:17) 16640 views
Rolltop Desk by David Roentgen: Animation
(00:01:00) 3015 views
Browse current and upcoming exhibitions and events.
This artwork is not on display
Marking:  stork in oval, maker's mark of Abraham Grill, m. 1672, d. 1682, (Rosenberg, '22, no. 669) and (Seling no. 1716)
 Pine cone, Augsburg, for the year 1650, (Seling no. 76)
Location of marks: on bottom and rim of cover
© 2000–2013 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.