Death of Cleopatra Automaton!

A press release from the DFW Elite Toy Museum begins:

The original Cleopatra was so beautiful that two Roman generals competed for her affections before Christ was born. In 1623, Shakespeare retold the tale of her ill-fated love affair with Mark Anthony and dramatic suicide. Egypt’s most famous queen still captivated the public in 1885 when a British company manufactured a life-size Cleopatra automaton to draw throngs to a London wax museum.

Recently acquired, the “Death of Cleopatra” automaton will be the centerpiece of DFW Elite Toy Museum’s new Oddities, Antiquities and Rarities exhibit that will run July 15 to February 28, 2015.

“The automaton depicts a slowly breathing, bare-breasted Cleopatra expiring from the bite of an asp as other asps writhe at her ankles,” said DFW Elite Toy Museum Curator Rodney Ross. […]

There’s an overhead view here … and another view here. By the looks of things, this was recently acquired at auction (so it could have been gracing your department coffee lounge!).

The subject matter seems to have been popular; here’s a Youtube video of another one:

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