Automaton in the form of a chariot pushed by a Chinese attendant and set with a clock, James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800), 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, British, London

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

Maker:
James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800)
Date:
1766
Culture:
British, London
Medium:
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
Dimensions:
Overall: 10 1/4 × 6 3/8 × 3 1/4 in. (26 × 16.2 × 8.3 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Gold and Platinum
Credit Line:
The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982
Accession Number:
1982.60.137
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: Ja: Cox / London
baron Alfred Charles de Rothschild (by 1884) ; Jack and Belle Linsky , New York (until 1982; to MMA)