The swan is life-size and is controlled by three separate clockwork mechanisms. The Silver Swan rests on a stream made of twisted glass rods interspersed with silver fish. When the mechanism is wound up, the glass rods rotate, the music begins, and the Swan twists its head to the left and right and appears to preen its back. It then appears to sight a fish in the water below and bends down to catch it, which it then swallows as the music stops and it resumes its upright position.
You can see the Swan in action every afternoon at 2.00. This performance lasts approximately 40 seconds.
The Museum is in the picturesque market town of Barnard Castle, County Durham situated in the heart of the Pennines in North East England.