Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Phantom Serenade, Untouched by Human Hands

A concert at the museum! Usually they're quite interesting occasions, and tonight's is no different. In conjunction with a new exhibit, we're given a tune from the 1700s, from an unusual musician.

I've been fascinated by automata lately, and this one is a classic. The "Joueuse de Tympanon" was indeed created in 1772 as a present for Mare Antoinette, and is in truth a miniature version of her. She plays about 8 different tunes, depending on which drum was inserted. And for a while, her hair was actually made from Marie's, and her outfit from her clothes. La Joueuse was badly damaged during the French Revolution but was restored in the 1800s.

All that said, there is something creepy out her, like something from Hoffmann or Poe. One can't help but wonder if she gets loose and commits horrible deeds in the city at night...

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