Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird snuffbox

    Singing bird snuffbox

    Switzerland, Geneve

    Middle of the 19th century

    Bruguier senior Charles-Abraham

    Silver, brass, steel, painted feathers; gilding, guilloche, engraving, painted enamel

    3.5 х 9.7 х 6 cm, 377 gr

    On the key “RIVTD PIPE“, “7”


    Snuffbox in rectangular guilded silver case with curly vertical ribs. Geometric opaque enamel ornament in black and blue colors combined with chasing and engraving compose the case decor. Duplicate geometric chased border - meander on the repousse background - surrounds the upper surface perimeter. The lid in the oval chased frame is in the centre. The image of a flower bouquet on blue enamel background is on the lid. The lid inner surface is mirror-polished. Chased medallions with the images of flowers are on the lateral sides. Oval cartouche in the vignette of leaves and flowers is on the guilloched surface on the bottom side. A sliding lever for winding the movement is on the front side to the right. A keyhole for winding the bird's movement is in the corner. The rear panel hinges upwards, revealing polished compartment for snuff tobacco. While the movement is operating, the oval lid opens automatically and a tiny bird in painted feathers appears. It spins, flaps its wings and tail, turns the head, opens and closes the beak; the sound movement imitates bird's chirping. On completion of the movement's work, the bird hides under the guilded engraved openwork lattice and the lid descends. The winding key with steel bar and square aperture, with complicated copper grip, with disk and rotary ring,  figure "7" and inscription on the disc.