Singing Birds

Singing bird cage

    Singing bird cage

    France, Paris

    The 1880s

    Bontems, Blaise

    Wood, metal, fabric (velvet), feathers

    Base diameter 28 x 53 cm, 3.9 kg


    Dome shaped cage made of golden colour metal, with decorative hanging ring and one bird inside. The base is decorated with foliate ornamentation along the perimeter; it stands on four round feet. The stand is covered with olive-coloured velvet. A bird with bright red plumage and black wings, neck and tail, sits on a perch decorated with flowers.

    The movement is started with a key and activated by a lever on the left side of the stand. When the movement is activated, the spring mechanism drives the system of levers, the bellows and piston in the whistle. The whistle emits a sound, the bird "sings", opens the beak, turns its head and moves the tail.
    Music media: pinned metal cylinder.