They Sure Don't Make Things Like They Used To: Amazing Automaton 'Singing Bird' Pistols

July 27, 2011


Note: very worthwhile video is after the jump.

This is a video of an expert explaining a pair of entirely-mechanical automaton 'Singing Bird' pistols (MADE ALMOST 200 YEARS AGO AROUND 1815!!) that recently sold at a Christie's auction for just short of $6-million. Unfortunately, they don't actually shoot bullets, just put on a little 'Enchanted Tiki Room' show. Think a cuckoo clock, but then think teensy-weensy and even more intricate. THEY EVEN SOUND LIKE REAL-DAMN BIRDS! The video shows a CG cutaway explaining the mechanics of it all, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out there are actually little wizards trapped inside. What? Sorcery was still big back in the early 1800's!

Hit the jump for the 'best watched in full-screen' video, and skip to 1:30 if you're impatient. Dude does have a mesmerizing voice though so I watched the whole thing and loved every second of it. Even the second I burped and it tasted like breakfast burrito.

The Only Pair of Matching Singing Bird Pistols, Attributed to Frères Rochat [christies]
The $5.9 Million Singing Bird Pistols Explained [hodinkee]

Thanks to Russell, who once stabbed a guy for bringing a singing bird pistol to a gunfight. Hey you brought a knife!

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