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.