Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird box

    Singing bird box

    Germany, Triberg

    circa 1940

    Griesbaum, Karl

    Metal, brass, steel, painted birds' feathers; polishing, punch work, chamleve enamel, painted enamel

    4.7 х 10.3 х 7.1 cm, 642 gr


    Singing bird box in metal case, decorated with punched ornament and enamel images. A painted image is on the top panel with an oval aperture closed by the lid with thin punched frame – a girl swinging on a seesawthe in a flattering pink dress and young men in punched and white enamelled frames; the lid internal side is mirror-polished. The lateral surfaces are decorated with blue transparent enamel inserts of different shape in white frames. Medallions with the images of mountainous landscapes are on the lateral surfaces. The bottom surface is smooth, polished with a thin punched pattern in the form of a double frame, with a keyhole and fixing screws' heads. The movement activating lever is on the front side. The oval lid automatically opens when the movement is switched on, a miniature bird with painted feathers appears from under it and begins to turn in place, wave the wings, open and close the beak; the sound movement imitates bird’s chitping. When the movement operation is over the bird hides and the lid goes down. The movement is made as per the scheme developed in 1895 in Switzerland. The movement is a cam-type automatic mechanism with one whistle and air bellows.