Mantel and Table Clocks

Singing bird mantel clock

    Singing bird mantel clock

    Circa 1876

    Bontems, Blaise

    Steel, brass, bronze, glass, painted bird feathers; casting, gilding, enamel, mechanical work

    Height 68 cm

    On the clockwork mounting plate: “H & F Paris 1876”; “No. 5792”


    Clock in cylindrical gilded case is mounted on the top side of three sides glazed case of the automaton - a singing bird. The case is set on the massive base with square protrusions at the corners and assembled from moulded gilded decorative elements, that hold glass faceted sides. Painted enamel inserts are on three sides of the base, they feature young couples dating  in the open air. The front edges of the case are decorated with consoles with curled tops, with putti figurines sitting on them and holding scrolls and volumetric leaves. Mechanical bird in colorful plumage sits in the moss, among  branches and leaves against the background of scenically attractive landscape. Blue butterfly-shaped  clock's pendulum is hanging from above. The fluted clock case is mounted on cast wavy base with volutes. Two cast birds with raised wings are sitting on the top of the cast gilded foliage flower garland that descends on the clock sides. Round glass door with bezel in the form of a chain of beads is on the case front side. It closes blue enamel dial with black Roman numerals on white small metal plates. The lever with pallets and gear wheel of the side-mounted lever escapement and two apertures with square rods is mounted on the internal gilded recessed guilloche part of the dial. The hub with the axis for two centrically blued Breguet style hands is the centre. Thin shaft for the clock escapement regulation is above the 12 o'clock mark. The clockwork is pendulum with off-set Brocot lever escapement and hour striking on the bell, it is  fixed between two round marked brass plates. The singing bird movement that is activated simultaneously with the clock strike, is mounted in the base. When the mechanism is turned on, the bird opens and closes its beak, twists the head, and waves the tail; the sound mechanism reproduces the birds' singing. The keyhole and lever for turning the bird on are on the base right. The springs winding key is in the set.