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, chasing, champlevé enamel, painted enamel

    3.7 х 9.8 х 6.6 cm, 423 gr


    Snuffbox with a singing bird in gilded silver case in the form of a casket, decorated with chased ornaments and enamel images. Four enamel images are on the top panel on a blue background. They are surrounded by chased ornament with black and green enamel background. An oval aperture bordered with chased frame is in the center. The external surface of the hinged lid is decorated with painted enamel image of an alpine landscape with castle and trees on the lakeside with sailing boats. The lid inner surface is mirror-polished. An opening up lid is on the rear panel. Lateral sides are guilloched and engraved with floral patterns. The bottom panel of the case is guilloched. A floral cartouche and a keyhole are on the bottom side. A lid that opens upwards. It reveals a mirror-polished compartment for snuff tobacco. During the operation of the movement 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 is hiden under the guilded engraved openwork lattice and the lid descends. Spring drive mechanism with a fusee - system of  the movement stabilization. The key grip is the form of a ring, a rod with a square cross-section aperture.