The museum of mechanical dolls in Limoux (France) is a unique place that will undoubtedly be interesting to visit for both children and adults. It is a private museum created by Martine Morand and Jean-Jaques Achache and inherited by their daughter, Judit Morand. all-andorra.com asked its owner about the history of the place and its characters:
“The story began about 45 years ago. My mother was a decorator in Paris and was involved in the manufacturing of puppets (marionettes). My father was a professional photographer. The meeting of these two creative people from the world of art was the birth of the idea of making mechanical dolls.
My parents have long been doing their favorite work together. After the death of my father, my companion Remi Delguez and I took on the role of making mechanisms. My mother is still working. All the characters that can be seen here today are the fruit of her imagination. She is working on creating both the images and their costumes.
As for the total number of mechanical dolls, about a hundred are exhibited in the museum itself, plus about 60 other characters are here, in the atelier.
All the characters displayed here have no price. They are not for sale, even if one of our visitors really wanted to buy them. This is our work, the work of artists, it is priceless. At the same time, we accept custom orders for mechanical dolls. We can discuss details with the customer, we can give advice… However, custom-made characters leave the museum forever.
The characters we have created are not only in France but also abroad. You can come across then inside museums, castles or even in people’s private collections. They are less often seen in theaters as it is always a matter of budget.
As for the time we spend working on each character, it is always varying. And it does not depend on the size. I can say that one of the last dolls required about 3000 hours of work.
Our museum is a beautiful showcase, a place where our work lives. But what gives us the means to live is outside these walls. ”