Daniel Roth “Il Giocatore Veneziano” One-of-a-Kind Automaton with Clock

Daniel Roth “Il Giocatore Veneziano” is an entirely handmade and hand painted automaton, depicting a richly robed 16th century Venetian dice player. Half standing, half sitting on a stool, he leans across a carpet-covered table as he juggles the dice in two handheld leather goblets. Set in the plinth of the table is a unique clock, which sounds the hours and triggers a command to set the automaton in motion.

The dice player turns his body, hands, and head, and blinks his eyes as he periodically lifts his arms to reveal, beneath the goblets, the black and white dice as they turn and fall independently – achieving an infinite number of possible results.

Of all the exceptional pieces created by Daniel Roth, the totally handmade, one-of a-kind “Il Giocatore Veneziano” automaton is among the most audacious. While automata of the 1880s to 1920s were typically powered by a spring motor and many incorporated a cylinder music box or small mechanical organ, in visualizing “Il Giocatore Veneziano” Gerald Roden, CEO of Daniel Roth, had a more challenging concept in mind.

His concept was to create a totally original automaton in conjunction with the world famous automaton specialist, François Junod. Inspired by the Italian painter Caravaggio’s work of genius “The Card Players”, what Gerald Roden visualized was an automaton in the form of a 16th century Venetian dice player juggling his dice and lifting his arms to enable the viewer to see the ever changing dice beneath. Sounds simple – well not quite, there was a catch – he wanted the dice to be able to fall independently in an infinite number of variations. Leaving the viewer’s chance of guessing the correct fall of the dice to genuine luck – a real gamble – much as the game would have been played in the affluent bars of 16th century Venice and in today’s gaming rooms of Las Vegas.

The result – an exquisite handmade automaton made up of more than 1,500 parts, depicting a richly clothed 16th century Venetian dice. Half standing, half sitting on a stool, he leans across a carpet-covered table deep in thought as he juggles the dice in his two handheld leather goblets. His hand painted face has a look of deep concentration as he turns his body, hands, head, blinks his eyes and lifts his arms at intervals to reveal the lucky black and white dice beneath the goblets as they fall non-sequentially – achieving an infinite number of possible results.

The secret to the limitless possibilities of the fall of the automaton dice is that below “Il Giocatore Veneziano’s” carpet covered table is a turning plate on which randomly spinning dice disks are attached, ensuring that each time the dice player reveals his dice the combination is never repeated. Set in the plinth of the automaton is a unique Daniel Roth clock with dial indicating the hours and minutes that has been specially developed for “Il Giocatore Veneziano”.

Its manually wound mechanical movement has a striking mechanism that strikes on the hour. This triggers a command that sets “Il Giocatore Veneziano” in motion (alternatively, there is a push-piece to activate “Il Giocatore Veneziano” on demand). The clock’s movement has an 8-day power reserve.

The moving body, hands, head and the blinking of the eyes are controlled by a specially created François Junod miniature nine-cam mechanism, which contains more than 80 ball bearings.“Il Giocatore Veneziano’s” rich silk robes and accessories have been carefully researched by Daniel Roth and the 16th century Venetian detailing recreated by a specialist couturier of miniature clothing. Taking many years to research and develop – the Daniel Roth “Il Giocatore Veneziano” is a unique, one-of-a-kind automaton. Entirely handmade, it embodies the remarkable genius of Daniel Roth.

Technical details
Automaton
Total height: 550 mm approx.
Base: width: 260 mm, depth: 380 mm, height: 90 mm
Automaton movement: The action of the automaton is controlled by a specially created, totally independent François Junod miniature nine-cam mechanism. The automaton can function six times without need to rewind and incorporates an indicator showing the number of times it has been activated. The automaton movement has three push-pieces: one is a clutch release to activate the automaton, the second a manual release, and the third lifts the arms so that you can see the dice. The mechanism contains more than 80 ball bearings

The clock
Set in the plinth of the automaton is a unique Daniel Roth clock, which sounds the hours and triggers a command to set the automaton in motion.

Clock movement
A manual mechanical clock movement with 8-day power reserve. The striking mechanism sounds the hours and on the hour triggers a command to set the automaton in motion. The functioning parts of the movement are Daniel Roth gilded, and Côte de Genève and circular grained finished. A push-piece can be used to activate the automaton.

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