Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Pierre Jaquet-Droz Automatons

Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1721-1790) was a Swiss-born watchmaker of the late eighteenth century. He lived in Paris, London, and Geneva, where he designed and built animated dolls, or automata, to help his firm sell watches and mechanical birds.

Constructed between 1768 and 1774 by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, his son Henri-Louis (1752-1791), and Jean-Frederic Leschot (1746-1824) were The Writer (made of 6000 pieces), The Musician (2500 pieces) and The Draughtsman (2000 pieces).

Here is a clip of the Pierre Jaquet-Droz automaton The Writer on YouTube.

To get a good look at all of the working masterworks, you should consider buying a well made automata film on video from my associate in France, Monsieur Philippe Sayous. It is available in French and in English.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a collector of antiques. I have an automaton doll that is very old and is signed on the bottom by Jaquet Droz. I estimate it is from the 1700 or 1800's.
I am looking for someone that can give me an accurate appraisal on this doll. Please post your telephone number and qualifications and I will get in touch with you to complete the appraisal process. Thanks.

November 22, 2006 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger Dug North said...

Dear Anonymous,

While I am a great admirer of antique automata, I cannot honestly say I am qualified to appraise them.

I recommend that you pay for an appraisal with a reputable auction house.

I know that one in my area has sold automata in the past. See:

Here is their contact information:

Skinner, Inc.
357 Main Street
Bolton, MA 01740
Phone: 978-779-6241
Fax: 978-779-5144

If I can facilitate in any way, please do not hesitate to ask.

Dug North

November 22, 2006 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger Dug North said...

BTW: My contact information can be found at:



November 22, 2006 at 6:47 PM  

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