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How Unique Automata Make Valuable Assets to A Music Box or Antique Collector
Author: _Monique Hawkins

Copyright © 2006 Monique Hawkins

Music box and antique collectors should consider not limiting themselves to inlaid music boxes, musical jewelry boxes, carousel music boxes, antique clocks, antique cars, antique jewelry and the like. Collecting unique automata is also very rewarding. In addition, some also contain musical movements. Three interesting automata pieces are the "striking jacks", "automaton musicians", and the "lady who plays the organ" by Henry-Louis Jaquet and Leschot.

Striking Jacks

Automaton is a musical, articulated figure moved by mechanics. This particular form of automata was clock driven. In fact, many of these automata were in the clocks themselves with the musical figures utilized as "striking jacks" which sounded the hours. David Tallis, in "Music Boxes: A Guide for Collectors" states: "The oldest striking jack in the world is in Wells Cathedral where the clock made in 1392 has several automaton figures. The striking jack, 'Jack Blandifier', kicks the bells with his heels to strike the quarters and also sounds the hour by hitting a bell in front of him with a hammer. Moreover, the clock at Wells has an astronomical dial, above which two knights on horseback have a joust at the hour until one is struck off his horse." Finding a unique collectible such as this would be tremendous for the music box and antique collector.

Automaton Musicians

Automaton musicians are figures on clocks, which were crafted to represent musicians and musical groups. The music figures appeared to play their particular instrument, which actually looked quite realistic when viewing the movement of the fingers. The flute player and drummer were considered masterpieces because the music was played by air blowing from the figures lips into the instrument along with using their figures in the keyholes. This was quite a piece of master craftsmanship and would be a highly valuable asset for any collector.

Lady Who Plays the Organ

Developed by Henry-Louis Jaquet-Droz and Leschot, this automata musical figure was a lady whose body moved while she played the organ with her fingers. 5 tunes were played and the lady's eyes and arms moved at this time. What really was quite a sight was the lady doing a curtsy before the next tune was played. Discovering an item such as this would be a treat and a rare find.

For the music box and antique collector, these unique automata would be fine additions. Why not begin the search today?

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Established in May of 2005, www.My-Music-Box.com is a music box gift store specializing in products such as inlaid ballerina music boxes for ballerina rooms décor, whimsical carousel music boxes, and musical jewelry boxes. The company provides interesting information for music lovers of all ages. Owner Monique Hawkins is also the author of the blog "What You Never Knew About Music" whatyouneverknewaboutmusic.blogspot.com , and owner of the eBay store "Monique's Music Box" at: stores.ebay.com/moniquesmusicbox/ Monique can be contacted at (540) 858-2885.

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