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Published on Apr 8, 2008
This musical automaton is much loved and over the last century has become the icon of The Bowes Museum. The Silver Swan dates from 1773 and was first recorded in 1774 as a crowd puller in the Mechanical Museum of James Cox, a London showman and dealer. The swan is life-size and is controlled by three separate clockwork mechanisms. It is still in working order, though it is operated only once or twice a day because of its age.