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Published on May 4, 2011
An automaton by Henry Phalibois (circa 1890) This is a working automaton of a large-scale scene of Jesus and the apostles, with several movements per figure; the manufacture attributed to the French manufacturer Henri Phalibois; based on Leonardo Da Vinci's famous painting "The Lord's Supper". The Automaton was part of the traveling London Mechanical and Electrical Exhibition that toured England, Europe, and Australia, reaching New Zealand in the 1920's. The exhibition pieces had been collected by David Jobling Vaughton and his Grandson, Mr Jobling. The late Pat Newman of Auckland managed to secure this piece, and often displayed it to friends and family as one of the most prized items in his collection. This may be the only automaton of this scene in the World.