Hans Christian Andersen's Mechanical Nightingale


Hans Christian Andersen


Mechanical nightingale


Compels people to sing what is in their hearts.


None identified.


Singing/playing music near.

Collected by

Warehouse 12







Date of Collection




"The Nightingale" is a story written and published by famous writer Hans Christian Andersen about a Chinese Emperor who prefers the music of a mechanical nightingale to that of the real thing. The story is widely regarded as a tribute to one of his many unrequited loves, an opera singer named Jenny Lind, who soon became known as the 'Swedish Nightingale' after the story's publication. As he was shy and had extreme difficulty in proposing to Lind, he offered her a letter (and a package, containing a wind-up Nightingale he had commissioned to giver her as a gift) to Lind as she was boarding the train. In 1844, she wrote a letter to him explaining that his feelings for her were not mutual. It was with that letter that Lind returned the mechanical bird.


Sensing the sorrow of Andersen's rejection, the bird became an artifact, and compels people who hear its song to sing what is in their hearts to better express themselves freely and eloquently.

When music or singing is performed near it, the bird activates, the key on it's box winds, and it takes flight. It is content, and rendered neutralized, when it hears enough genuine love expressed.


In 1894, during the ribbon cutting ceremony in 1894 for the original Warehouse 13, the excited crowd of Regents and Univille citizens began to sing, and it activated the bird. From there, we learn the details of how the original 13th Warehouse burned down. In present day, the agents are celebrating the Warehouse's Centennial and awaiting the arrival of a US Senator, as the host country is allowed to check up on the Warehouse every 100 years. As Claudia is baking a cake, she sings Happy Birthday, activating the bird and causing it to fly around the Warehouse. It causes at least Myka, Pete, and Artie to sing their own love songs (about loving Pete and hating it, loving food, and loving the Warehouse, respectively).


  • This is the primary artifact for the unused Musical Episode in Season 5 that was meant to feature original songs, begin the original overarching plot, and explain the original Warehouse 13's history.

See Also Edit

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