Automaton in the Form of a Monk, ca. 1550. Possibly circle of Juanelo Turriano, (ca. 1500–1585). Probably Spanish, ca. 1550. Hardwood (stained beech or poplar), traces of enamel, leather, metals, paint. Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C. Though its origins are shrouded in mystery, one legend proposes . . .