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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.
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Standing cup (Coupe Chenavard)
Cup (part of a service)
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This artwork is not on display
Marking:  Crowned LP flanked by SEVRES 1845 in a circle, printed in blue
 CHATEAU / DE / ST. CLOUD, a crown above, in a rayed circle, printed in orange red
 M in gold (gilder's mark)
 illegible incised mark
[ art market , St. Cloud, before 1951 ] ; Miss Sylvia Such (until 1951; to MMA)
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