This object is for sale (!!!) and is estimated to go for between $4,000-$6,000 as part of an upcoming Science, Technology & Clocks auction taking place on June 2, 2012 10:00AM. Full lot description from the Skinner Auctioneers website follows:
"St. Dennistoun Mortuary" Coin-Operated Automaton, attributed to Leonard Lee, c. 1900, the mahogany cabinet and glazed viewing area displays a Greek Revival mortuary building with double doors and grieving mourners out front, when a coin is inserted, doors open and the room is lighted revealing four morticians and four poor souls on embalming tables, the morticians move as if busily at work on their grisly task and mourners standing outside bob their heads as if sobbing in grief, ht. 30 1/2, wd. 24, dp. 17 1/4 in.
Estimate $4,000-6,000You can find out more and see the other lots--which include other automatons including an amazing automaton last supper!--by clicking here. My only plea, if any of you Morbid Anatomy readers purchase this, please (please!) invite me over to see it in action! I would certainly buy it myself if I could afford it. If the Musée Mécanique is still actively collecting, this would make a wonderful addition to their rich collection of coin-op toys depicting deaths by such means as guillotine, French execution, and English execution; yes, really. More on that here.
Brass coin plate stamped J. Dennison Leeds NO. 80
Thanks so much to Morbid Anatomy readers Nanette Rod and Jane Fuller for bringing this amazing object to my attention! All images sourced from the auctioneer website; click on images to see larger versions.