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, leather, fabric; gilding, polishing, engraving, painted enamel

    4 х 10 х 6.5 cm, 390 gr


    Snuffbox in rectangular gilded silver case in the form of a casket. The top side is decorated with the engraved floral ornament on blue enamel background, surrounded by a chased floral vignette in the oriental style. The chasing is intertwined with thin green stripe. Chased leaves on the blue background are in the corners. An the oval lid with a painted alpine landscape depicting a house on the lakeside is in the center. Enamel image is surrounded by a thin chased frame. The lid inner side is mirror-polished. The lateral surfaces have curly profiles that are decorated with chased floral ornament along the frieze. The engraved floral ornament in the frame is in the center of the bottom side. The keyhole for winding the bird's movement is in one of the corners. Ornately shaped sliding lever for winding the mechanism is on the front side. The rear panel opens upwards, showing a compartment for snuff tobacco. 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 is hided under the guilded engraved openwork lattice and the lid descends. The case is covered with red embossed leather. Winding key with ornately shaped grip and a ratchet.