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) 10679 views
Rolltop Desk by David Roentgen: Demonstration
(00:02:17) 16910 views
Rolltop Desk by David Roentgen: Animation
(00:01:00) 3027 views
Vase (Vase gothique Fragonard) (one of a pair)
Medici vase with a scene of the park at Saint-Cloud (one of a pair)
Vase with cover
Pair of vases
Vase (Jasmin Japonais)
Browse current and upcoming exhibitions and events.
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
© 2000–2013 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.