Included with a singular cat from the Grand Vizier
A Clockwork Cat
This fine example of Rennaisance clockwork is attributed to Francesco Melzi, apprentice to Leonardo Da Vinci. Little is known about the reason for its construction, but it is in working order, and does not appear to have been tampered with or repaired at any time.
The key for the mechanism is included in the lot, engraved "Custodi me, Close" on it's head. Translation is simply "Keep me close" in Latin, and appears to be related to several legends about this particular machine. The cat has been called Constantine, although the origin of the name for the device has been lost with the passage of time and numerous changes of ownership.
Listings of ownership for this device are contained inside the packing crate, along with some schematics attributed to the mechanism. Previous listed owners include but are not limited to:
Queen Elizabeth I
Sir Henry Morgan
Pope Innocent IX
Pope Gregory XV
Pope Urban VIII
Sir Percy Blakeney
This list of owners is incomplete, but is not questioned by any authority.
It has been noted that there are reports from previoius owners of certain untoward occurrences involving the device and it's key, most concerning that the key has been kept on the owner's person at all times "for safety purposes". Reasons for this are unknown, and any responsibility for failure to heed this information will not be accepted by this house or any previous owner or owner's representative.
There is a reserve of 10,000 pounds sterling on this item.