Automaton leads Garriot collection sale in Austin with $30,000 estimate

A modern day automaton with a $30,000 high estimate will lead a sale of items collected by video game designer Richard Garriot at the Austin Auction Gallery in Texas on September 21. The collection is comprised of almost 600 lots.

The automaton was designed and built in 2010 by Anatoly Zaya-Ruzo. It features two mechanical dolls (a brother and sister) that play selections from 16th and 17th century English and French composers. The figures are clad in flamboyant 18th century French dress and feature moving eyelids, heads and lips.  

In 2007, a pair of blackamoor musicians by Jean Roullet, the great 19th century French maker, sold for $450,000 - a record price for automata.

Garriot Automaton Austin
The automaton plays music by Mulliner, Dandrieu and Gaillarde

Garriot is an eccentric character and a noted collector of automata. Famously he was the second person in history to make a self-funded trip into space in 2008.

Other items include a full-size fibreglass reproduction of a Wells Fargo overland stagecoach with an estimate of $20,000, and a selection of vintage cars including a 1911 "Tin Lizzie" Model T Ford that comes to auction with an identical valuation.

Circa 1911 Model T Fords have performed well at auction previously. In 2010, a Torpedo Runabout model sold at RM Auctions for $30,000.

Garriot commented on the auction: "I collect and I look at these demonstration toys and other electromechanical items to inspire the work I do. As a collector, these are personally important to me."

The Paul Fraser Collection has a wide variety of unique items for sale. For more information from the antique and collectibles markets, please sign up to our free weekly newsletter. 

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock