Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird snuffbox

    Singing bird snuffbox

    Switzerland, Geneve

    Circa 1850

    Bruguier senior Charles-Abraham

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

    3.8 х 9.6 х 63 cm, 467 gr

    On the sticker: "75 28NOV 2006 CHRISTIE'S", engraved on the movement: "C. BRUGUIER A GENEVE", scratched: "543 GENEVA"


    Snuffbox with a singing bird in gilded silver case decorated with engraved ornament and enamel images. Four enamel miniatures on blue background surrounded by chased ornament with black enamel are on the top panel. Oval chased framed aperture with a hinged lid is in the center of the top panel. The external surface of the lid is decorated with the painted enamel image of mountain landscape with houses and fir trees. The inner surface is decorated with the enamel image of a flower bouquet on blue background in chased frame. The lateral panels are ornated with the engraved flower garlands. The bottom surface is guilloched with floral patterns. A windinghole for the movement and a sticker on the bottom. Mirror-polished compartment for snuff tobacco with opening up lid is on the rear side. A sliding lever for activating the bird's movement  is on the front panel. 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's movement is spring driven, with a fusee - system of stabilization of the spring force.