A valuable antique mechanical swan is to be lovingly restored following a successful fundraising campaign.

The Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle has said it is delighted the Silver Swan will be able to perform again thanks to the generosity of 197 people who donated.

Following a grant of £146,324 from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, the museum needed to raise at least £18,000 to reach the conservation project target £199,142 to restore and repair the iconic 18th century object.

It’s raised a £19,341.50 with supporters taking advantage of the rewards, including online mentions, Swan tote bags and t-shirts, limited edition Swan postcards and prints as well as the chance to see behind the scenes in a workshop at the restorer’s studio. 

One lucky person has paid £2,500 to wind the Silver Swan when she performs again for the first time.

Hannah Fox, executive director of The Bowes Museum, said: “We did it.

“We are so excited and so grateful to all our supporters who helped us get over the line. 

“Your generosity has been truly inspiring, each and every donation means we can successfully bring back the magic of the Silver Swan ensuring that she will continue to inspire generations to come. Thank you.”

The Silver Swan is a life size, solid silver replica of a female swan and is one of the finest examples of 18th century automata in the world. 

It was made in the workshop of James Cox in London and was first shown in his museum in 1773. 

It has three clockwork mechanisms and contains more than 2,000 moving parts, with several thousand in its whole.

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It performed daily until 2020 when the museum closed during to the pandemic.

The work to restore and conserve the Silver Swan is being carried out by the Cumbria Clock Company, alongside the museum's in-house conservation team.

Visitors are able to watch some of the conservation work in progress in the Silver Swan gallery, with volunteer explainers on hand to tell them more or answer any questions.