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Cygan's window

M.Goldstein offer Scale and Distortion at Dover Street Market

M.Goldstein, at 67 Hackney Road, is a London treasure. Known for the mantra 'Art. Antiques. Attire', where else could you find in one place an original, illuminated sign from a Soho erotic revue, a taxidermy monkey, miniature penknife earring, seats from an RAF aircraft that look like a great, lost Prouvé, salvaged musical pissing sculpture or impressively-tall, culturally significant robot, Cygan? Today Nathaniel Lee Jones and Pippa Brooks' emporium heads west, taking over the window at Dover Street Market and curating a display of Scale and Distortion, everything from a giant pair of boots and parabolic battleship reflectors to a tiny raincoat and handpainted trade signs from the 1850s, advertising pets. Dazed Digital visited their east London space to check out Cygan and learn his story from Nathaniel Lee Jones...

"A friend of mine discovered him, a sci-fi fan. He found him and put him in his front room behind the settee in front of the bay window. All his friends were just like ‘what the hell have you bought this for?’ He had to sell up and move and eventually Cygan came my way. Some of the information about him got lost but we've been educated through our website, there’s lots of kind of really tech-y robot geeks out there, and historians, especially robot historians. There's a short technicolour film of Cygan performing at Olympia and a snippet of where he was first presented, in Milan in 1957, an arena with all these post-war, stylish Italian folks – a whole dolce vita crowd.

He was made in Italy and christened Cygan, but they changed his name to Gygan in London, for some reason. And in the 70s he was Mr Moto, because he was used in a car showroom to advertise Ford – he'd have girls hanging off of him. If you go on the website and look at our little blog on him, he’s holding two Windmill dancers from the Windmill club and has a car showroom dolly bird hanging off his arm. He’s a real ladies' man.

He was remote-controlled, he had a distance of control – a range I suppose you’d call it – of about a mile, he was quite advanced. A guy from Portsmouth emailed us and said ‘oh my god! You’ve got him!’. And he sent me a photograph of him and Cygan from the 70s, with his bell-bottoms, a really cool 70's haircut and tartan satchel. He’s standing there holding his hand in a black and white photo. Cygan is quite famous, a known entity."

M.Goldstein's window at Dover Street Market runs until 10th July at Dover Street Market, 17-18 Dover Street, London W1.