Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird box

    Singing bird box

    Switzerland, Geneve

    Circa 1840

    Freres Rochat

    Silver, metal, painted bird's feathers; gold plating, casting, punch work, enamel

    7.5 х 5 х 2.5 cm, 360 gr

    Mark "Minerva's head", letters in lozenge: "C.R & C" and two five-pointed stars. On the movement: mark "FR" and serial number "493"

    Box with a singing bird in rectangular metal gold-plated case. The volumetric floral ornament on the case top side surrounds an oval lid. An engraved image of a group of angels with musical instruments is on the lid external side. The lid inner side is mirror-polished. The front, rear and lateral sides' surfaces are decorated with relief onlays. The onlay on the front side depicts a fruit-piece, the side surfaces are decorated with flower garlands, the hinged lid with a composition from hunter’s attributes. A rectangular movement activating lever is on the front side. A keyhole is covered with a round onlay. It is located on the smooth bottom side. When the bird movement is started, the lid hinges upwards, a miniature bird appears from under the openwork lattice. It turns, waves the wings, opens and closes the beak; the sound movement simulates bird’s chirping. When the movement operation is over the bird hides and the cover goes down. The bird’s movement is made as per the scheme developed in Switzerland in 1895. The movement is cam-controlled,  with a whistle and bellow.