Mechanical Birds and Singing Bird Boxes

Cage with three singing birds

    Cage with three singing birds

    Western Europe

    Late 19th century

    Wood, steel, brass, leather, painted feathers; carving, gilding, mechanical work

    31 x 53.5 x 25 cm

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    The cage made of thin metal wire rods with dome and ball-shaped pendant with ring in the top part, is fixed on rectangular gilded socle with bevelled corners that is decorated with carved floral ornament and fretted plinth. A winding hole is in the right lateral side. Activating cord with small ball at the end is in the bottom. A rock with imitation of plant formation comprised of painted feathers, grass-blades from papier-mache and a mirror fragment as small puddle are inside the cage. Artificial branch is fixed on the rock.
    The bird in red plumage with black wings and tail seats on the branch. Two birds – one with blue, light blue and black feathers, the other one with green, light blue, orange and black feathers sit on the rock next to it. A door with latch is on the cage right lateral side. Cam mechanism with bellows, piccolo pipe with movable piston and spring drive is mounted inside the socle. The spring is winded with the key. When the mechanism is winded and activated, the birds utter trills, turn their heads, open and close their beaks in phase with the tails’ movements. The winding key is in the set. 

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    Инв.203.1-2/ММП