Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird snuffbox

    Singing bird snuffbox

    Switzerland, Geneve

    Circa 1850

    Bruguier the younger Charles-Abraham

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

    4 х 10 х 6.6 cm, 440 gr


    Snuffbox with a singing bird in gilded silver case shaped as a casket, decorated with chased ornaments and four enamel images of flowers on blue background, surrounded by chased ornament with blue enamel. An oval hinged lid in the chased frame is in the centre. The lid external surface is decorated with enamel a scenic image: Alpine landscape with a house and trees on the lake side and a sailing boat. The enamel image of a flower bouquet on blue background in chased frame is on the lid inner side. The lateral sides are decorated with chased floral pattern.

    A keyhole for winding the movement is in the bottom guilloche surface with foliage ornament. Mirror-polished compartment for snuff tobacco with opening up lid is on the rear side. The oval lid opens automatically during the movement operation 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. The bird movement is spring driven, with a fusee - system of the spring force stabilization. The winding key with round grip and a square cross-section aperture.