The Peacock Clock is the only large multi-figure automaton in the world dating back to the 18th century that has remained unaltered and in a functioning condition to this day. The figures of a peacock, cockerel and owl are fitted with mechanisms that set the automaton in motion. It was manufactured by the entrepreneur James Cox in the 2nd half of the 18th century and through the influence of Grigory Potemkin it was acquired by Catherine the Great in 1781. Today it is a prominent exhibit in the collections of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.
بديع الزمان أَبُو اَلْعِزِ بْنُ إسْماعِيلِ بْنُ الرِّزاز الجزري [Badi'al-Zaman Abū al-‘Izz ibn Ismā'īl ibn al-Razāz al-Jazarī]; early 14th century treatise on automata; Kitab fi ma'ari-fat al-hiyal al-handasiya (1206 C.E.).
Early 14th century (1315); copied in Egypt; c.1354.
Killian looked up from his book; Elizabeth was standing in the doorway, her ink-black curls mussed from sleep, clutching her stuffed frog tight. “Sweetheart, you’re supposed to be in bed,” he told her, closing his book and opening his arms to her.
The five-year old hurried over to him, climbing into his lap. Killian grunted as her knee hit tender places; she was all angles and knees, his little girl, and wild with them she was. “Had a bad dream,” she mumbled into his chest, her arms around his neck tight.
(She had bad dreams often, ever since Leroy had let them out of his sight during the last villain fight, and Elizabeth and David had seen Emma and Killian almost killed) (He didn’t think he’d ever forgive the dwarf for the incident, but it did help that the dwarf would likely never forgive himself for it either)
He shifted Mr. Frog away to breathe better. “Dreams are just that, my own sweet lass. They’re the movies in your mind.”
The Peacock Clock in the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. The elaborate mechanism featuring three birds (which ‘come alive’ when the hour is struck) and a mushroom as a clock face was designed by the English goldsmith and jeweller James Cox for the benefit of Catherine the Great’s favourite Grigory Potёmkin, who gifted it to the empress for her collection in the Hermitage.