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Eight-foot-tall giant robot dating to 1957, $86,355

Giant robots invaded RR Auction, and bidders welcomed them

Eight-foot-tall giant robot dating to 1957, $86,355
Eight-foot-tall giant robot dating to 1957, $86,355

BOSTON — A massive eight-foot-tall giant robot, dubbed Gygan, sold for $86,355 at RR Auction on December 15.

The huge mechanical man — named Gygan and also known as Cygan or Mr. Moto, was designed and built by Dr. Peter Fiorito of Turin in 1957. It stands more than eight feet tall and weighs more than 1,000 pounds.

The robot was reportedly able to walk forward and backward, turn right and left, and lift its arms —there are old newspaper images that show Gygan holding a girl in either arm. It could also respond to spoken commands, light rays and radio control signals.

Detail of eight-foot-tall giant robot, created in 1957 by Dr. Peter Fiorito, $86,355
Detail of eight-foot-tall giant robot, created in 1957 by Dr. Peter Fiorito, $86,355

Gygan became a sensation in Europe, debuting at the 35th Milan Sample Fair in 1957 before opening the British Food Fair in 1958. The robot was sold to a Ford dealership in Leeds in the 1970s, where it was dubbed Mr. Moto and used for advertising and promotional purposes. It then became part of a private collection until it was auctioned at another house in September 2013, when it was described as non-functioning. The robot was evidently restored to functional condition in 2014-2015, and now includes a briefcase with a built-in control panel, and operating instructions printed in 2015.

“Gygan is a monstrously impressive museum quality display piece — evoking the futuristic aesthetic of the 1950s,” said RR Auction Executive VP Bobby Livingston.

Circa-1950s seated animated robot, $15,495
Circa-1950s seated animated robot, $15,495

Among other featured robots was a vintage seated animated humanoid robot, circa the 1950s, which sold for $15,495, in addition to the toy robot collection of famed artist Andres Serrano.

Apple-1 computer hand-numbered by Steve Jobs, $442,118
Apple-1 computer hand-numbered by Steve Jobs, $442,118

Additional highlights from the sale included an Apple-1 computer hand-numbered by Steve Jobs, which earned $442,118.

The Science and Technology auction from RR Auction began on November 18 and concluded on December 15. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.

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