Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird snuffbox

    Singing bird snuffbox

    Switzerland, Geneve

    circa 1850

    Bruguier, Charles-Abraham (The Senior)

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

    3.9 х 9.45 х 6.2 cm, 476 gr

    Marks: inside the compartment "35768"; "5W57"; on the sticker "156"


    Gorgeous box with a singing bird in gilded silver case decorated with chased ornaments and enamel images. Four enamel images of coloured flowers over dark-blue background bordered with a chased pattern. An oval aperture with a hinged lid is in the centre. Its external surface is decorated with painted enamel image of a house and fortress on the river bank and a mountain chain in the background. An enamel image of a bouquet of flowers on blue background in chased frame is on the lid inner side. Chased pattern of flowers and leaves is on the lateral sides. The bottom panel is guilloched with floral ornament. The keyhole for winding the movement is in the bottom. Chased pattern is on the vertical ribs. A mirror-polished compartment for snuff tobacco with a hinged lid  is on the rear side. The engravings "35768" and "5W57" are inside. A sliding lever for winding the bird's movement is on the front side. During the movement operation 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 and the lid descends. With a spring driven movement and a fusee - system of stabilization the spring force. The winding key has a ratchet and a square cross-section aperture.

    The box is stored in red leather case with a button and a sticker with numbers on the bottom.