A few kilometres from Sainte-Croix, the music box capital, the village of L’Auberson is a delightful secret. It was here, in the Yverdon region, that the Baud brothers established their collection of automatons. A mechanical wonderland offering guided tours during weekends and every day in the summer.
The Musée Baud in L’Auberson was opened in 1955 by the Baud brothers, Frédy, Robert and Auguste, and has a collection of around sixty antique mechanical music exhibits, dating from 1750 to 1940, including music boxes, automatons and orchestrions.
The Baud brothers continue to work together in their precision mechanical workshop repairing large mechanical music devices. Passionately interested in any mechanical music device, including all kinds of automatons, they created a display of their collection in their stables and barn, which were converted into a museum. Expertise and a musical ear are essential to identify the missing notes on a mechanical roller and their talent for mechanical devices is known far and wide. Even today, people come from all over the world with rare pieces for them to repair.
The registration on the UNESCO list since the 16th of December 2020 highlights an iconic living tradition of the French-Swiss Jura Arc. This registration finds particular resonance in the region of Sainte-Croix/L'Auberson, the only place that brings together music boxes as well as automatons and watchmaking. The application submitted by Switzerland in collaboration with France was considered exemplary by UNESCO for its demonstration of the importance of intangible cultural heritage in a cross-border space.