Singing Birds

Musical automaton "Singing bird"

    Musical automaton "Singing bird"

    Circa 1875

    Bontems, Blaise

    Porcelain, brass, painted feathers, steel; gilding, painting, mechanical work

    31 x 27 x 53 cm


    Blue flower cache-pot-shaped base with mossy surface with cones, flowers, berries and leaves is decorated by golden ornament is standing on three supports and has two leaves-shaped handles. Stand with a crossbar, decorated with artificial pink flowers and leaves is mounted in its center. Painted image of a girl and a young man in plein-air is on the cache-pot front surface, floral composition is on its rear side. Large bird in bright plumage sits on the crossbar. Cam mechanism with bellow, a piccolo pipe and spring drive, with a keyhole and activating lever are on the right side.  When the mechanism is activated the bird makes warbles, opens and closes its beak, turns its head and moves its tail.