This is the sound of an 18th century bird box by Jaquet Droz. It had been owned by the customer for more than 10 years, not working, he had never heard it sing this beautiful song until our restoration:

“Automata are mechanical objects endowed with life by ingenious means.”

Welcome to our new website.  If you want to explore the classic site it is available here AutomatomaniA

The House of Automata is a specialist automata company run by Michael and Maria Start.

We have in depth knowledge gathered over 25 years, regarding the history of automata and hands on expertise of the mechanisms of most types of antique & modern automata. Our clients include collectors, auction houses, the media and museums.

As well as buying and selling we also hire and advise on automata and horology to the film industry. We present lively and popular lectures and demonstrations of automata, using real examples.

Michael is an award winning trained Horologist (Clockmaker) and Maria is a skilled sculptor and painter. We are passionate about our subject and are happy to give advice on any automata question, just send us an email & include pictures if possible.

The House of Automata has a busy restoration workshop in the Highlands  and a showroom in Edinburgh, Scotland, visitors welcome by prior arrangement.


IT'S ALIVE! Tour for visually impaired visitors

This summer the museum plays host to a cast of curious clockwork characters from the House of Automata. We invite you to join us for a descriptive tour of the exhibition and a hands-on automata performance, tailored to visually impaired visitors. Come along to experience the magic of mechanical life. The automata will come to life in the expert hands of Michael and Maria Start, including a tiny feathered bird who sings 170-year-old songs. 11.00am – 12.30pm Friday 28th July 2017 Places are limited. Book by email Museum of Childhood, 42 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TG

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For Sale

Under construction, please email if you are looking for a specific piece, we may have it in stock.

We have a selection of automata for sale or hire. Take a look and if you would like more details please contact us.

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Of amazing pictures and fantastic projects. Take a look at some of our finest moments and biggest challenges.

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