Back in January of 2012, I posted about a tiny ship automaton and music box that was presented by Michael Start from The House of Automata. His video showed the mechanism in motion, but we didn't get to see the case that once held it or hear the tune that it once played.
As it turns out, Brittany Cox at West Dean College in the UK, was on a team tasked with the conservation of this tiny ship automaton from the early 19th century. She wrote the last of a three-part series on the project -- part one focusing on covering the case in shagreen and part two focusing on other details of the case.
In this wonderful post, Brittany Cox takes us step-by-step through the process of figuring out how the ship was made, what it did, and finally what she did to get it working again. The mechanism's music-box components were mostly intact, but not functioning. The tune played by the mechanism was not known.
Follow along as she goes about dating the piece, repairing the mechanism, and conducting experiments to get the musical component to function once again. She also performed an analysis that allowed her to confirm the tune played by the automaton. There's far more to her post, but I won't repeat it all here. I assure you, it is both educational and fascinating.
Here is where you can read about the restoration and repair of The Automaton Ship and Silver Shagreen Case.
[ Thanks Kim! ]