Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird snuffbox

    Singing bird snuffbox

    Switzerland, Geneve

    circa 1860

    Bruguier senior Charles-Abraham

    Silver, multicoloured gold, platinum, brass, steel, painted feathers; gilding, guilloche, engraving, gem stones setting

    3.8 х 9.8 х 7 cm, 458 gr

    On the movement: "C. BRUGUIER GENEVE”, number "545”

    Precious box with a singing bird in gilded silver case, decorated with chased ornament, coloured gold, diamonds and pearls. The chased surface with yellow gold volumetric floral ornament and engraved red gold plates with platinum pins are on the top panel. An oval hinged lid on the top panel is framed with red gold ornament and elements comprised of grain pearls. Its external surface is decorated with a chased floral composition with diamonds on dark blue and black enamel background. The inner surface of the lid is mirror-polished. The lateral panels of the case are guilloched with the elements of the Moresque ornament. The bottom is decorated with the broad guilloched field framed by rosettes. A keyhole the movement winding is in one of the rosettes. A compartment for snuff tobacco with a hinged lid is in the rear panel. Vertical ribs are ornated with the ropes of papyrus stems. A sliding onlay with the lever for winding the bird is on the front side of the box. The oval lid opens automatically during the operation of the movement 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. Key with a round grip and a cylindrical bar with a square cross-section aperture.