Handmade mechanical dragonfly

Etsy seller JesseDanger's $15,000 "Anax Imperator Machina" is a hand-made, precision clockwork dragonfly whose wings flap -- made from gold and silver.

Modeled after the largest modern species of dragonfly, this is a functioning creation whose wings flutter up and down when the very tip of the tail (really the abdomen, but tail sounds cooler) is turned. The inspiration for this complex mechanical insect originated from many of the fantasized gadgets of Leonardo da Vinci and other mechanical creations once thought futuristic in times long before our own. Inspired by these designs I set out to recreate nature using classical engineering and an elegant form. My intentions are to develop and continue making more of these mechanical insects.

The internal mechanisms, gears and moving parts were painstakingly hand-milled and hand-calibrated with absolute precision from 14k gold. The body, mechanical frame and wings were handcrafted from Argentium Silver, far superior to Sterling or fine silver. The body opens up to reveal the intricate inner movements, and fine details that just could not be left forever covered up! The eyes are each large 10 carat Swiss Blue Topaz cabochons and the 14k gold bezel on the tail contains a 4mm Amethyst bullet shaped cabochon.



  1. Actually, that would be a damselfly, since its eyes are separated and not flush to the head.

  2. Very handsome; I love dragon flys. I think I’d like to see the eyes have more glitter, though, more life. A cabochon can be nice, but a cut stone might better mimic a compound eye.

  3. I think 15k is not a bad price for this – it will definitely appreciate given the amount of hand work. DARPA will probably buy it and then cast its carbon fiber mechanism using the gold one as a pattern….

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