1773: 13 George 2 c.42: An act for enabling James Cox, Jeweller, to dispose of his musaeum, commonly called Cox’s musaeum, by way of chance, in such manner as may be most for the benefit of himself and his creditors.
WHEREAS James Cox of Shoe Lane, in the city of London, Jeweller, hath, in the prosecution of his trade, invented several mechanical pieces of uncommon and expensive workmanship; in the construction of which employment has been afforded to numbers of ingenious and industrious artists and workmen; and many of the said pieces have, for several years past, been disposed of in foreign countries, much to the honour as well as advantage of this kingdom: and whereas the said James Cox hath, with great labour, ingenuity, and expence, contrived and brought to perfection other pieces composing the musaeum, commonly called Cox’s musaeum, which were originally intended to be disposed of in the East Indies, as many other pieces of the like kind, invented by the said James Cox, to the amount of near six hundred thousand pounds, have already been: and whereas the said James Cox hath necessarily contracted large debts in completing the said musaeum; and the said musaeum, on account of the great value and price thereof, and also on account of the present distress and scarcity of money in the East Indies, as well as in Europe, cannot easily be disposed of in the common way of sale: and whereas, unless some encouragement under the sanction of parliament be given to the said James Cox, to enable him to dispose of the said musaeum to the best advantage, and by such sale to continue with success, in the course of his trade as a jeweller, his ingenious and useful endeavours, which have, for many years past, found employment for near one thousand workmen and artists, the debts contracted by the said James Cox cannot speedily be discharged, and numbers of artists and workmen will be deprived of employment: in order therefore that this useful branch of trade, brought to so much perfection by the said James Cox, may still be carried on with success, may it please your Majesty, at the humble petition of the said James Cox, that it may be enacted; and be it enacted by the King’s most excellent majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same,
[Mr. Cox impowered to dispose of his musaeum.]
That it shall and may be lawful to and for the said James Cox, his heirs or assigns, and he and they is and are hereby authorised and impowered, at any time or times before the first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty, to sell and dispose of the said musaeum, and the several pieces composing the said musaeum, specified in the schedule to this act annexed, in such manner as the said James Cox, his heirs or assigns, shall think proper, without being liable or subject to any penalty or forfeiture imposed by any act or acts of parliament against any sale or sales by way of lottery, or by lots, tickets, numbers, or figures; and that such sale or sales so to be made of the said musaeum, and of the several pieces composing the same, by the said James Cox, his heirs or assigns, before the said first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty, shall be good and valid, any law or Statute to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.
II. And be it further enacted, That this act shall be deemed, adjudged, and taken to be a publick act; and be judicially taken notice of as such by all judges, justices, and other persons whomsoever, without specially pleading the same.
A SCHEDULE of the pieces already composing, and of other pieces nearly compleated, which are intended to compose the musaeum, commonly called COX’s MUSAEUM.
N° 1. A Horse, tent, and pedestal, with chimes and mechanism; eight feet high.
2. A musical chime, with mechanism.
4. A pair of bulls, with clocks, chimes, mechanism, and pedestal; eight feet high.
5. A camel, with bridge, chime, timepiece, and mechanism.
6. A vase of flowers in jewellery, with timepiece, chime, mechanism, and pedestal; seven feet high.
7. A flag, large as life, with clock, chimes, and mechanism; six feet high.
8. A goat, with chimes and mechanism.
9. A cabinet of gold and agate, with clock, chimes, and mechanism.
10. A rhinoceros, with timepiece, musick, and mechanism.
11. An elephant and silver temple, with musick, mechanism, clock, and pedestal.
12. A large amber vase of flowers, with chimes, mechanism, and pedestal; nine feet high.
13. A gardener’s boy and vase, with pine-apple, timepiece, musick, mechanism, and mirrors; fourteen feet high.
14. An eastern sofa of gold, with reflecting mirrors, convex speculums, crimson and gold feats, and splendid ornaments; fourteen feet high.
15. A pair of bulls, .with clocks, chimes, mechanism, and pedestal; eight feet high.
16. A goat, with chimes and mechanism.
17. A very large pot of flowers of jewellery, with artificial waterworks, chimes, mechanism, and pedestals; ten feet high.
18. A camel, with bridge, chime, timepiece, and mechanism.
19. A rock, with musical chimes, mechanism, and timepiece.
20. A musical chime, with mechanism.
21. A ditto.
22. A goat, with chimes and mechanism.
23. An elephant and temple, with musick, mechanism, clock, and pedestal.
24. A cage of singing-birds, with musical chimes, clock, and mechanism, placed in a commode of lapis and gold stone, containing a chime of bells, and fountains of artificial water; ten feet high.
25. A palm tree in a tub of avanturine, hooped with jewellery, filled with mechanism and musical chimes, with serpents issuing from the root twining round the tree, ascending amongst the branches, and disappearing; ten feet high.
26. A musical chime with mechanism.
28. A vase of flowers in jewellery, with chimes, mechanism, and pedestal.
29. An onyx add gold cabinet, with chimes, timepiece, and mechanism.
30. A rhinoceros and castle, with chimes, timepiece, and mechanism.
31. A musical clock.
32. A flag, large as life, on its back a temple, with a three-faced clock, musick, and mechanism; six feet high.
33. A pair of vases, with girandoles, supported by turtles.
34. A musical chime with mechanism.
36. A large amber vase of flowers, with chimes, mechanism, and pedestal; nine feet high.
37. A temple of agate, with cascades of artificial water, standing on a rock, surrounded by a double gallery, triumphal chariots moving therein, with musical chimes, mechanism, and a large animated elephant below the gallery, standing between palm trees, placed at right angles, on an ornamented terras. It terminates with a star, and is ten feet high.
38. A sofa of gold, with reflecting mirrors, convex speculums, crimson and gold seats, and ornaments; twelve feet high.
39. A goat, with musick and mechanism.
40. A musical clock, with mechanism.
41. A gardener’s boy, with vase and pine-apple, timepiece, mechanism, and mirrors; ten feet high.
42. A musical chime, with mechanism.
44. An automaton figure of a chinese, that plays on the flute, with musical chimes and mechanism, upon a commode of lapis and gold stone, which contains an organ, and in front, artificial water-works, with a water-mill and bridge; and terminates with a spiral star; nine feet high.
45. A bust of her imperial Majesty the empress of Russia, with brilliant ornaments.
46. A pyramid of fountains of artificial water, with ornaments and embellishments of gold and jewellery, dolphins, dragons, tritons, sea nymphs, and ships failing, and water ascending, descending, and running in near three hundred streams; which pyramid is fixed on a pedestal of crystal rocks, sea horses, and other imitations, with ornaments of jewellery, placed with a recess of mirrors, terminating with an irradiating star of near three feet diameter, and fourteen feet high.
47. The chronoscope and obelisk, with pedestal, musical chimes and mechanism, standing within a pavilion of mirrors, with a canopy of red morocco and gold, terminating with a golden eagle; fourteen feet high.
48. A swan, large as life, formed of silver, filled with mechanism, beating time with its beak to musical chimes, seated on artificial water within reflecting mirrors; under the swan are water-works, terminating at the top with a rising sun, upwards of three feet diameter; the whole eighteen feet high.
49. The perpetual motion, being a mechanical, mathematical, and philosophical timepiece.
50. The throne of gold, twenty feet high, with all its decorations, altars, pavilion of velvet, and band of mechanical musick.