Singing Birds

Cage with two singing birds

    Cage with two singing birds

    Western Europe

    Late 19th century

    Bontems Ch. & Co.

    Steel, wood, fabric, brass, leather, painted feathers; mechanical and carpentry works, casting

    54.5 x 24 x 24 cm


    Cylindrical cage, assembled from thin metal wire rods with dome and pendant in the form of a ball with ring on the top. The cage is mounted on octagonal mahogany stand, with cast decorative onlays. The base imitating plant formation made of painted moss, pieces of bark, blades of grass and mirror fragment imitating puddle is fixed inside the cage. Wire branches with artificial white and pink flowers surround T-shaped cannular rack. A bird figurine in red feathering with black wings and tail is mounted in the base center. The second bird in black feathers, with yellow crest and chest sits in the “greenery” next to the rack. Cam mechanism with bellows, piccolo pipe with movable piston and spring drive is mounted inside the stand. Coin selecting flat tube is withdrawn through metal wires of the cage. The lockable pullout drawer for coins is in one of the stand sides’ bottom part. When the mechanism is winded and activated each bird utters trills, turns its head, opens and closes its beak in phase with the tail movements. The winding key is in the set.