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Lot 0040
Automaton Chess Player.- Mechanical Illusion.- Reynell (H. printers in Piccadilly) The Famous Chess-Player, No. 14, St. James's-Street, next Brooks's, broadside advertisement for "The famous Automaton", letterpress, on laid paper with large watermark of coat of arms, sheet 314 x 190 mm. (12 1/4 x 7 1/2 in), light folds and handling creases, unframed, [ESTC records two copies, BL and NY Public Library], 'Printed by H. Reynell, (No. 21) Piccadilly, near the Hay-Market', [1784].

⁂ "The Turk", also known as the Mechanical Turk or Automaton Chess Player, was a fake chess-playing machine that was constructed in 1770 by Wolfgang von Kempelen (Hungarian author and inventor, 1734-1804). It was initially constructed to impress the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and following a second exhibition of it to the Grand Duke Paul of Russia, Kempelen was reluctantly encouraged to begin a European tour in 1783. It stayed a year in London in 1784, where as the present advertisement notes, it could be viewed for 'five shillings'.

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Automaton Chess Player.- Mechanical Illusion.- Reynell

Estimate £300 - £500Sep 27, 2018
London, UK
Auction Curated By:
Rupert Powell
International Head of Books and Works on Paper
Max Hasler
Modern First Editions and 20th Century Literature