Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Jewel-Studded Clockwork Caterpillar

This pre-electronic mechanical robot, dubbed the "Ethiopian Caterpillar", was made by Swiss watchmaker Henri Maillardet for sale to aristocratic Chinese buyers in 1820 (approx).

The rare gold, enamel, jewel and pearl-set automaton mimics the gracious undulating caterpillar's crawl with a clockwork powered mechanism which drives a pair of gilt-metal knurled wheels. It was last sold at auction in 2010 to an Asian buyer for $415,215.

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