Design

Kelys and Chirp / MB&F + Reuge + Nicolas Court


What you’re looking at here is a musical automaton that combines a walking tortoise (Kelys) and a singing bird (Chirp). Kelys is about 24cm long, 16cm wide, and 8cm high not including Chirp, who pops out of the top of Kelys’ shell when the automaton is activated. In all, the pair weigh just over 1.8kg. The body is made of rhodium plated brass with leather scales set into the metal to provide a bit of softness, and you can choose from blue, green, yellow, and ochre leather, giving four very different looks. The basic idea is that Kelys (whose name comes from the Greek for tortoise) walks around as Chirp sings her song. It’s an extremely charming little contraption and is meant to be a celebration of friendships, no matter how unusual. It’s a complicated machine though. There are 480 total components in the movement, which builds on Pierre Jaquet-Droz’s original singing bird automaton from the 1780s. It was designed, developed, and made by Reuge and automaton specialist Nicolas Court. The MB&F Kelys & Chip is a limited edition, with 18 pieces being made in each of the four colours. The price is CHF 49,000 — via Youtube

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Photos from Flickr