Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Musical fob seal with automaton

    Musical fob seal with automaton


    The 1790-1810s

    Steel, brass; mechanical work, gilding, soldering, chasing

    4.2 x 2.9 x 2.4 cm


    Gilded fob is of thin metal in the form of oval case containing miniature musical movement. The lateral surface is formed by alternating smooth and corrugated profile strips. The polished flat hinged lid closes the case bottom. A handle consisting of two identical profile arcs, connected at the bottom, at the mounting points, into a bunch of grapes, is attached to the convex smooth upper side. Engraved images of two grape leaves are inside each arc. The arcs are soldered together in the upper part, at the bottom they are connected by thin semicircle, on hemisphere that serves as a support. A rod passes through the handle with suspension at the end in the form of bracket, which serves to wind the automaton and the musical movement. Automaton featuring two chased figurines of masons with movable arms is under the hinged lower lid. The figurines are placed against the painted background. The miniature spring-powered musical movement consists of pinned cylinder and a stack of seven tuned slats. The movement is activated by sliding switch on the case side wide part.