Bird's The Word For Jaquet Droz

Last November, a Russian collector paid CHF291,750 ($428,099) for a golden clock in the shape of a bird cage. It was a beautiful thing, made of gilded brass and boasting some truly elaborate metalwork that surrounded a fairly realistic painted bird within. The clock itself, mounted at the base of the cage was a simple two-hand affair with a subsidiary seconds dial. At face value, forking out almost half a million dollars for what was essentially a pretty ornament from the late 1700s may seem excessive – until you flick a small switch on the side. The dusty little bird suddenly springs to life, jumping, chirping and moving its beak, flapping its wings and swinging its tail in defiance of its inanimate nature. Half a million dollars suddenly doesn’t seem like too much for a bit of Jaquet Droz’s magic.

Published in Jaquet Droz Articles

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