Singing Birds

Singing bird cage

    Singing bird cage

    France, Paris

    The 1880s

    Bontems, Blaise

    Wood, steel, brass, leather, painted bird feathers; turning, gilding, presswork, mechanical work

    16 x 29 cm


    Cylinder-shaped cage made of thin metal rods with dome and a ring suspender in the upper part is mounted on round stepped gilded socle made of copper alloy, decorated with chiselled foliage ornament, and standing on three chiselled metal feet. A protruding lever that activates the movement is in the socle bottom part, built-in winding key and a round acoustic window covered with metal mesh are on the socle bottom. Wooden base covered with grey velvet is inside the cage. Tubular rack surrounded by wire branches is in the base centre, the bird figurine in red and black plumage is fixed on it. Cam mechanism with bellows, piccolo pipe, movable piston, a spring drive, and winding key is inside the base . When the movement winded and turned on, the bird emits trills, turns its head, opens and closes its beak in sync with the movements of its tail.