This is the sound of an 18th century bird box by Jaquet Droz. The owner had never heard it sing until our restoration:

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

The House of Automata Short Film -

The House of Automata is a specialist automata company run by Michael and Maria Start, an award winning trained Horologist and a skilled Sculptor and Painter respectively  We run a busy restoration workshop in Forres, Moray  and have a showroom in Edinburgh, Scotland.801Ball boy maria

We have in depth knowledge based on 25 years experience restoring and conserving fine automata both antique and modern.  

Our clients are many and varied and include collectors, auction houses, the media and muBlack Forest Magicianseums.

BUYING/SELLING – Automata and Mechanical Singing Birds.

HIRE –  We hire Automata and Horology to the film industry.

TALKS – We present a range of  talks & demonstrations.

EXHIBITIONS – With a large stock and an important collection of automata we mount interactive exhibitions and loan automata to museums and galleries.

VISIT  Behind the scenes workshop tour in Forres, Scotland.

ADVICE  – We are passionate about our subject and are happy to give advice on any automata question, just send us an email with pictures.

Follow us on our popular Instagram

100 videos of Automata in action –  YouTube channel 


For Sale

Let us know if you are looking for a specific piece, as we may have it in stock.

A selection of automata and related items for sale. If you would like more details on any item please ask.

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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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