Macabre coin-op automaton depicts a mortuary scene

Dug North sez, "The upcoming auction at Skinner features a macabre coin-operated mortuary scene automaton. When a coin is inserted, the doors open revealing four morticians and four poor souls on embalming tables. The morticians move as if busily at work and the mourners standing outside bob their heads as if sobbing in grief."

Video of bizarre coin-operated mortuary scene automaton that is to go to auction (Thanks, Dug!)


  1. I question it being circa 1900. The women’s hats, bobbed hair and coats suggest post WW1 going into the 1920’s. Now, I could be wrong… most women wore hats with bigger brims closer to the turn of the century. Few, if any, were bobbing their hair. 

    I saw this posted on dangerousminds, and comment there, as well as the auction site. Just a thought … 

  2. Reminds me of the execution one I saw at Musee Mecanique in San Francisco.  Here’s video from a similar one in Spain:

  3. If you’re ever up in Edinburgh, Cory, check out the Museum of Childhood, where I remember being fascinated by the automaton of Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber. I recall Todd slashing the throat of a customer, the body being dumped through a trapdoor, and the customer re-appearing in the form of a meat pie. All good, wholesome childhood fun.

  4. If you like macabre automata I recommend checking out Thomas Kuntz.  It’s not historic or vintage but macabre it surely is.

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