Toys that Move Me, and Themselves

A few nights ago a friend ended an email with the question, "do you like toys?" I was a bit flummoxed, as his meaning was unclear -- his family is heavily involved in the sex industry, but our letters are very proper. In times like these, I err on the side of propriety. I mean, Legos? Yes, please. Playmobile? Count me in. And I have a most unmanly love of very fine dollhouses (and all things diminutive), perhaps because they are often exquisite architectural and interior models. The Thorne Rooms shaped me from infancy.

But if you really want to know what gets me off, I'd have to say it is automatons, hands down. They must be antique, though, and those are vastly expensive, like literally tens of thousands of dollars. I wouldn't hesitate to spend amounts typically reserved for cars or major surgery on a fine French monkey smoking under a glass dome, or a flowering orange tree.

Those of you who know me well already know my deep love for grottoes, born in the gardens of the Villa d'Este. Add dancing and forget it, I'm in love:

My brother's girlfriend is very charming and scruffy, and also happens to be a harpist. This treasure reminds me of her, and for this reason, I believe it should be given to me:

These are long, but extremely worth watching in entirety. In the first, watch for the orange tree that was entirely copied in the horrid film The Illusionist:

Creepy: "Their hearts are not hearts, but copper springs. Their lungs are not lungs, but leathern bellows ..."

And if you're looking for a little token to show that you love me (Steven? Reading this?), you might pick up a little something like this:


hand.pecked said...

Did you catch the Silver Swan at Barnard Castle a couple of days ago on Atlas Obscura?

Nick Heywood said...

Oh. My. God. Incredible ... I must see it in person.

No, though I usually check into Atlas Obscura, somehow I missed this incredible story. Wow. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

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