"The swan, which is life size, is a clockwork driven device that includes a music box. The swan sits in a "stream" that is made of glass rods and is surrounded by silver leaves. Small silver fish can be seen "swimming" in the stream. When the clockwork is wound the music box plays and the glass rods rotate giving the illusion of flowing water. The swan turns its head from side to side and also preens itself. After a few moments the swan notices the swimming fish and bends down to catch and eat one. The swans head then returns to the upright position and the performance, which has lasted about 40 seconds, is over. To help preserve the mechanism the swan is only operated twice a day."
Here, you can see a video of the Swan’s performance, and even better, the enraptured wonder of the viewers in the background. Such art, technology, craftsmanship, and flawless motion are spectacular, especially considering it runs on clockwork and was created over 200 years ago!
It’s not often that I’m insanely jealous of someone’s collection of frightening nightmarish antiques, but with RADIO GUY, I will make an exception. He’s amassed a number of finely aged items that range from dental mannequins to hat sizers. Some of the items are also for sale as it seems.