Automaton sculpture of a Turkish man

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Origin
Germany
Period
End of 16th century
Material
Gilded bronze
Height
16 cm
Width
7 cm
Depth
8 cm
Literature

A. Kugel, A Mechanical Bestiary - Automaton Clocks of the Renaissance 1580 - 1640, Paris 2016, pp. 19 - 23, 92, 93.

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Description

This gilded bronze and engraved figure is an automaton; a mechanically driven moving object. The little man can move both arms and turn his head. It was originally part of a larger ensemble with a clock. Technological advances in clockwork made it possible for the movements of the figurine to be driven by the clock's mechanism. A large part of Renaissance automatons was made in Augsburg and Nuremberg between 1580 and 1640, by both clockmakers and goldsmiths.

The sculpture represents a walking Turkish man, with scimitar. He wears a short decorated cloak with a row of buttons, tied together with a sash. In both hands is a hole, perhaps holding sticks for a drum, or some other musical instrument, as depicted in 'A Mechanical Bestiary', p. 23.   

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