Curious History:  Mechanical Devil; Italy, 1400s

Italian Mechanical Devil carved in wood from the 15th century from the Wunderkammer, owned by Ludovico Settala. Many were during the Middle Ages; some even displayed at churches. They made horrible faces, howled, and stuck out their tongues to instill fear in the hearts of sinners. The Satan-machines rolled their eyes, flailed their arms and wings, and some even had moveable horns and crowns. The one above is a crank-operated devil with sharply pointed ears and wild eyes. This scary guy is displayed at the Applied Arts Collections Museum in the Sforza Castle in Milan, Italy.

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