DECORATIVE ARTS, JEWELRY, CERAMICS, TEXTILES

PUBLISHER
Editions Xavier Barral

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 7.75 x 10.25 in. / 320 pgs / 160 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Out of stock indefinitely

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2017 p. 80   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9782365111348 TRADE
List Price: $69.95 CDN $92.50

AVAILABILITY
Not available

BROWSE THE 2019 FALL CATALOG

Preview our Fall 2019 catalog, featuring more than 500 new books on art, photography, design, architecture, film, music and visual culture.

BOOKSELLER TRADE ANNOTATION

An exquisite treasure chest of a book devoted to automata and clock making through the centuries
  • Clocks, watches and other decorative mechanical devices - wondrous objects that are at once scientific and magical. It starts with Ancient sundials and ends with contemporary watches. In addition to photographs, the book includes numerous etchings, manuscripts, and old documents.
  • Exceptional book production: multiple high-end paper stocks, perfect classical typography, lavish color reproductions.
  • Works as a gentleman's gift, but will also appeal to fans of historical curios; it will enchant the same audience as Ricky Jay's Matthias Buchinger: The Greatest German Living (Siglio) or Cabinet of Wonder (Abrams)
  • ABOUT AUTHOR: Nicholas Foulkes, British journalist is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, Financial Times, and The Rake. He is an internationally recognized authority on luxury travel, material culture, timepieces and the arts.
  • PROMO: Foulkes published Patek Philippe (Random House UK 9781848094628 $325) in January 2017. Major promotion in the jewelry and watch world.
  • LIMITED STOCK - only 500 copies available.

  

EDITIONS XAVIER BARRAL

Automata

Text by Nicholas Foulkes.

View of the cylinder and cams working the dulcimer player devised by clockmaker Pierre Kintzing (1784). Musee des Arts et Metiers, Paris.

Richly illustrated with etchings, manuscripts, and old documents, this book retraces the epic tale of the automaton from ancient times up to the present day.

Wondrous objects that are at once scientific and magical, automata testify to the technical research and inventiveness of their designers. In 1675, the astronomer and mathematician Christian Huygens invented the spiral spring that would play a leading role in the development of smaller and more precise watches, with highly complex mechanisms. The creation of more complicated wheelwork and the use of extremely meticulous spiral springs gave free rein to clockmakers’ imaginations, who invented animated objects that fascinated philosophers and scientists alike. Doctors, thespians and thinkers of the modern world all saw these increasingly lifelike automata: wonderful simulacra of life. These articulated figurines were to inspire thought, science, literature, the performing arts and more. Continuing this tradition, the house of Van Cleef & Arpels has harnessed all of its designers’ talents to create an exceptional automaton: a fairy, whose movements celebrate the art of the inventors of past centuries. Immersed in its designer’s studio, the reader sees an automaton come to life. Automata is the most substantial survey of this popular topic currently available.


View of the cylinder and cams working the dulcimer player devised by clockmaker Pierre Kintzing (1784). Musee des Arts et Metiers, Paris.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Midwest Book Review

Carl Logan

Profusely illustrated throughout, impressively informed and informative,Automata is the most substantial survey of this popular topic currently available for both scholars and non-specialist general readers on the subject, and is a very highly recommended core addition to both community and academic library collections with respect to automatons.

Automata

STATUS: Out of stock indefinitely.

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/12/2017

Automata: the epic tale of the automaton from ancient times to present day

Automata: the epic tale of the automaton from ancient times to present day

You need to hold this book in your hands to understand how exquisite it is, and lovingly made. Various papers of different weights and textures (some opaque some deepest black), superb illustrations, graphic design and printing, an especially tactile stamped cover, and, of course, its fascinating content make this new history of the automaton from Xavier Barral a universal staff favorite. "The automaton made as great a success as the real one, and was, besides, far prettier to look at," Hans Christian Andersen wrote in The Nightingale. "… It was superior to the real Nightingale, not only as regards the plumage and the many beautiful diamonds, but also internally." continue to blog


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