Sunday, September 07, 2008

New Edition of Tiger Tamer by Frank Nelson

New Edition of Tiger Tamer by Frank NelsonThis is a new improved version of the Tiger Tamer automaton originally produced by Frank Nelson in the 1970's. In this version, the tiger moves independently of the platform on which he is standing. There will only be 5 of this run made.

From the Description:
"When you turn the handle you will see the Tamer crack his whip once, only for the Tiger to refuse the command by shaking his head. This is repeated on the second crack of the Tamer's whip. On the third and final crack of the whip, the Tiger nods his head in acceptance and then does his trick by swiveling around to put his head in the Tamer's mouth."

Here is the link to the listing for Frank Nelson's New Tiger Tamer Automaton.

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Article on the Exhibit Celebrating Paul Spooner

Article on the Exhibit Celebrating Paul Spooner
The eminent automaton artist, Paul Spooner, will be honored in an exhibit featuring his work and the work of dozens of other automaton makers. This is sure to be an amazing exhibit.

They will also be devoting a portion of the space to honor Sam Smith (1908 - 1983), a sculptor whose work inspired Paul Spooner, Peter Markey, Frank Nelson, and many others to become automaton makers.

The exhibit will be at The First Gallery in Southampton.

Here is a link to the article on the exhibit to honor Paul Spooner's 60th Birthday. Here is a link to the image gallery of automata to be shown in the exhibit.

Found via Spiel und Kunst mit Mechanik


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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Bon Jest Wooden Automaton by Frank Nelson

Bon Jest Automaton by Frank Nelson
Here is a hilarious wood automaton by Frank Nelson entitled, "Bon Jest". The automaton is operated by a hand lever on the back.

From the Frank Nelson's web site:

"This is a one-off original automata. The two figures standing on a wooden carved fort. When the lever is pulled to the right the jointed Officer presents a medal. He leaps into the air – raising his head. The soldier turns his head, salutes, and receives a kiss on his right cheek. Pull the lever to the left and the opposite cheek is kissed."

Check out the video and images of the Bon Jest Automaton by Frank Nelson.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Automaton Maker Frank Nelson's New Website

Automaton maker Frank Nelson's Lion TamerLegendary automaton artist Frank Nelson has a brand new web site featuring photos and video of his automata, drawings, and paintings.

Shown here is The Tamer (Lion), 1975. Mixed media. Hand operated: Size: 51 x 28 x 18cm. Performance time up to one minute.

This is one of several of his works featured in the book: Automata and Mechanical Toys.

Frank Nelson on The Tamer:
"The Tamer is the best idea I have ever had - originally designed back in 1975 - two decorative figures interacting with each other. The Tamer cracks his whip twice and gets a refusal each time from the animal who shakes his head from side to side while his tail rotates. On the third crack of the whip however, the animal accepts the command and nods his head and does his trick - putting his head into the Tamer's mouth."

Here is the link to Frank Nelson's Automata web Site.

[Thanks Sergio!]

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Automaton of Lion Tamer by Maker Frank Nelson

Frank Nelson's Lion Tamer AutomataTake a look at this beautiful Frank Nelson prototype that just sold on eBay. This piece is featured in Automata and Mechanical Toys

From the eBay Listing:
A hand-operated circus Lion-Tamer automata by Frank Nelson. Born in 1930 in Blackpool, Frank Nelson has been a well-regarded automata-maker for over 35 years and retired in 2000. This automata is a prototype from his private collection. Nelson originally first produced Tiger Tamers and Lion Tamers in the 1970's. This was a prototype for a new improved model. "I always felt the need to make these changes but it meant a great deal more work".

The Tamer stands facing the Lion who is sitting on a plinth while behind them is an illustrated backboard of a circus tent. In this version the lion moves independently of the plinth on which he stands. Turn the handle and see the Tamer crack his whip once, only for the Lion to refuse by shaking his head. The refusal is repeated again on the second crack of the whip. Finally The Tamer cracks his whip a third time and then the Lion nods his head twice and does his trick by swiveling around and putting his head into the tamer's mouth.

Frank Nelson's automata tell a story with a twist in the end. "The Tamer is the best idea I have ever had - two decorative figures interacting with each other". Made in mixed media and in excellent condition and full working order. Signed by the maker with his distinctive logo on the back.

Size 36cm high; 27cm wide; 17cm deep.

See more photos of The Lion Tamer and check out the impressive sale price at eBay.

Also learn more about the artist and automata-making from Automata and Mechanical Toys

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