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Caterpillar luxurious jewellery

Caterpillar luxurious jewellery. Unique 19th Century Golden Caterpillar Robot

Caterpillar luxurious jewellery. Unique 19th Century Ethiopian Golden Caterpillar Robot

This so called Ethiopian Caterpillar is a unique work of Swiss jeweler and watch maker Henri Maillardet. 200-year-old masterpiece of high jewellery, the caterpillar is still in excellent working condition. The realistic automaton was created for some wealthy Chinese aristocrat. When the Ethiopian Caterpillar was sold at auction in 2010, it fetched a price of more than $415,000. It joins five other such caterpillars known to exist, all of which reside in prestigious art collections. At one time, robots were meant for the amusement of wealthy collectors and art enthusiasts. This stunning caterpillar automaton from approximately 1820 is a wonder of both artistry and workmanship. The Ethiopian Caterpillar is made of rubies, diamonds, emeralds, pearls, and turquoise all set in gold. The caterpillar’s eleven jointed ring segments combine to form a “body” that undulates like a real caterpillar, crawling realistically. Its body moves up and down simulating the undulations of a caterpillar by means of a set of gilt-metal knurled wheels.

Caterpillar luxurious jewellery

Fully articulated caterpillar automaton by Henri Millardet, late 1700s. Gold, red and black vitreous enamel, split pearl and turquoise

It was titled ‘the Ethiopian caterpillar’ when Maillardet, in partnership with legendary watchmaker Jaquet Droz, organized an exhibition to show off his menagerie of miniaturized automata in London, which dazzled the public. Sold at 2010 Sotheby’s auction gold and diamond-studded caterpillar, known also as the ‘Vers de soie’ (silkworm) – and very likely may have been destined for the court of Qianlong.

Of Maillardet’s caterpillar robots only six are known to exist and five are in prestigious collections in Europe, including one in the Patek Philippe museum and another two in the Sandoz collection.

Caterpillar luxurious jewellery

Golden Caterpillar Robot From 19th Century luxurious jewelry simulates movement of live caterpillars

Born 1745, Maillardet was a Swiss mechanic who worked in London producing clocks and other mechanisms, including various automata, including a famous set depicting magicians and others which could write in French and English.

Caterpillar luxurious jewellery

The Ethiopian Caterpillar closeup

The underside is decorated with champlevé black enamel. When the automaton movement is engaged, the caterpillar crawls realistically, its body moving up and down simulating the undulations of a caterpillar by means of a set of gilt-metal knurled wheels.

Caterpillar luxurious jewellery

The Ethiopian Caterpillar consists of eleven jointed ring segments

Caterpillar luxurious jewellery

The Ethiopian Caterpillar was sold at Sotheby’s Geneva auction room in 2010 and was snapped up for $415,215 by an Asian buyer

Caterpillar luxurious jewellery

The Ethiopian Caterpillar

Caterpillar luxurious jewellery

The rare gold, enamel, jewel and pearl-set automaton mimics the gracious undulating caterpillar’s crawl with a clockwork powered mechanism which drives a pair of gilt-metal knurled wheels

Caterpillar luxurious jewellery

Brooch ‘Caterpillar’. 18k gold, diamonds

Caterpillar luxurious jewellery

Brooch ‘Caterpillar’. Gold, turquoise, sapphires, eyes- rubies

Brooch 'Caterpillar'. Silver, pearls

Brooch ‘Caterpillar’. Silver, pearls

Again, the ability of crawling caterpillar to turn into a flying butterfly is considered a magical miracle. Many people are in awe of this metamorphosis, and believe that such miracles without God’s intervention do not happen.

Art Deco style Pendant-Brooch Butterfly. White gold, round diamonds and baguettes. The body is oxidized and inlaid with colored stones and diamonds

Art Deco style Pendant-Brooch Butterfly. White gold, round diamonds and baguettes. The body is oxidized and inlaid with colored stones and diamonds

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