Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740

Made:
1740 in Germany
Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes) Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, Germany, c. 1740 (lathes)

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Ornamental turning 'rose-engine' lathe, oak wood base, superstructure, automaton mechanism fixed to underside of base, and flywheel fixed to top of superstructure, with both the lathe and superstructure fixed to oak wood base, unsigned, Germany, c. 1740

This lathe automatically produced a complex geometrical pattern, cut into a small round piece of wood. In so doing it replicated the work of a human turner, who could decorate things such as watchcases or medallions.

The lathe’s astonishing design reflects that it was made for someone wealthy – it is traditionally associated with King Frederick the Great of Prussia, who was also a turner. Possessing this wondrous machine, performing its lifelike task, would have emphasised Frederick’s position as a great statesman.

Details

Category:
Hand and Machine Tools
Object Number:
1888-393
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), steel (metal), box (wood) and wrought iron
Measurements:
overall: 2415 mm x 1305 mm x 1070 mm,
Height estimate: 248.25 cm
type:
lathes
credit:
Pratt, S.