The Miracle of Mechanics

Source: The Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Museum Collection, created by the patron of arts and businessperson David Iakobachvili and his son Mikhail, stands at the intersection of Solyanka and Yauzskiy Boulevard. Its address is Solyanka, 16 – three ground floors s and one basement floor comprise the exhibition area. Here, they say in the Museum, about one third of all funds is exhibited - the total collection tallies about 20 thousand items. There are fair organs, orchestrions, barrel organs, harmoniums, automata, jukeboxes, sculptures by Eugene Lanceray and other prominent sculptors, objects created by Karl Faberge firm and skeleton clocks.

The Museum is intended for visiting with children, since an adult that comes here is feeling ready revert to childlike state. Do you remember how people of all ages use to gather in the Staromestnaya Square in Prague to watch the town hall clock with the moving figures? When you hear fairground and barrel organs, you immediately remember the cartoon films, where the New Year's cities are shown. When you see the Danish "Village Of All Trades", created in the late 19th - early 20th centuries, you imagine the New Year's shop windows with moving men, trains, etc. Is it a toy? Yes, it is a toy that gives us a childish sensation - the anticipation of the New Year's miracle. This town is probably the size of an average kitchen in an apartment building. Here clothes are being washed and dried, here is a ball-shaped policeman standing among the workers’ group, here comes a steam locomotive, someone is dancing, here is a street circus with clowns and a snake charmer, a boat that is circling around, a castle, a harbor, a lighthouse. The moment you twist the crank of these mechanical models, and the town comes to life. It turns out that some figures resemble the master’s children. Henrik Pallesen travelled with his masterpiece all round the world; he visited the USA as well.

The collection of David Iakobachvili was started in the new millennium. In 2000, Bill Lindwall, a Swedish businessperson, who for more than 40 years was passionately collecting ancient mechanical musical instruments, suggested that David Iakobachvili should buy it. By that time the collection was comprised of about 460 items, today the Museum funds tallies more than 20 thousand exhibits, united in thematic collections.

There are mechanical musical instruments - there are ancient ones, as well as a modern fair organ, produced in 2005 by the Belgian manufactory J. Verbeeck, founded back in 1884. Music records and mechanical objects. There are arts and crafts (art silver by Karl Faberge and Pavel Ovchinnikov, glass and crystal).

Almost all types of clocks are presented in the collection: long case, wall and console clocks, mantel and table clocks, pocket watches and skeletons.

Full article is on the NG site