Newsletter No. 4-07 (Apr. 2007)   Page 5 of 5 / Sidan 5 av 5. [back to page 1] Arcive/Arkiv: [1] [2] [3] [4]


This newsletter is written in order to spread experiences within the topic of historic textiles and reconstructions. Our ambition is to amuse you and stimulate interest in the 18th Century. Durán Textiles, who is mainly working with museum collections and Royal Castles, was founded in 2002 by CEO and production manager Laila Durán, with co-worker artist Torkel Henriksson who is doing the artworks and preparing the designs for production. Our production is done mostly in India supervised by Duran Textiles inspectors. 
- The articles are mainly written by Laila Durán but we also have help from colleagues and specialists from several museums and universities.  In the future this newsletter will be distributed four times a year and is free of charge. We hope you will enjoy our stories and offers and help us to spread the letter to friends and colleagues. Contact:

Detta nyhetsbrev skrivs för att sprida erfarenheter inom ämnet rekonstruktioner av historiska textiler och 1700-talet. Ambitionen är att roa och stimulera intresset. Durán Textiles har varit verksamt sedan 2002 och arbetar med projekt för Kungliga Slott och museisamlingar i hela Skandinavien. Laila Durán är VD och projektledare, Torkel Henriksson arbetar med originalen och alla förlagor för tryck och väv. På plats i Indien, där de flesta av tygerna produceras, finns Durán Textiles egna inspektörer.
- Artiklarna skrivs huvudsakligen av Laila Durán men vi får även hjälp av kollegor och specialister från olika muséer och universitet.  Nyhetsbrevet kommer i fortsättningen att komma ut fyra gånger per år och är helt kostnadsfritt. Vi hoppas ni ska uppskatta våra artiklar och erbjudanden och även sprida informationen vidare till Era vänner. Kontakt:



The Turk Who Conquered Napoleon
By Bernd Girgsdies.

In the year 1769 a big collection of French, mechanical toys was shown to the Austrian court. The exhibition arouse great attention and everything mechanical became popular.

Soon a man named von Kempelen could show what was going to be the 18th century’s most famous mechanical device: the automatic chess player.

The mechanism was hidden in a big box and the pieces was moved by a full-sized doll dressed in a Turkish dress. The doll wasn’t only a skilful chess player, he could also answer the audiences questions by putting pieces with letters on them together.

Of course the machine was a hoax. Today we know that such advanced mental activity must be performed by electronics, but in the 18th century man hasn’t yet discovered the limitation of mechanics and nobody unmasked the fraud.

In fact, the machine was run by a man inside the box. Under the chessboard magnets were hanging in pieces of strings and since the pieces was made of iron you could easily see from below how the pieces were moved. The only thing the man in the box had to do was to plan the countermoves, and without seeing anything, manoeuvre the marionettes hand so it moved the pieces. Today such a skill would cause more attention than a machine.

The bluff was unveiled in 1854 when the machine was destroyed by fire. By this time the machine had already imposed upon people for generations. Among others it had defeated Napoleon in Paris.




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