Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird snuffbox

    Singing bird snuffbox

    Switzerland, Geneve

    Circa 1850

    Bruguier, Charles-Abraham (The Senior)

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

    3.8 х 9.6 х 6.2 cm, 437 gr

    On the inner side of the upper panel "498", "DENANT", on the movement "498"


    Elegant snuffbox with a singing bird in gilded silver case decorated with engraved and chased ornaments and enamel images. Four enamel miniatures on blue background are framed by chased ornament with blue enamel. An oval aperture in the center of the top panel is bordered with a chased frame. A hinged lid covers the aperture. It is decorated with enamel image of Geneva, Lake of Geneva with a sail boat and the Salève peak in the background and unpaved road in the foreground. The enamel image of a bouquet of flowers on light background in chased frame is on the lid inner surface. Floral guilloche ornament is on the lateral sides. The bottom panel of the case is guilloched with floral patterns. a keyhole in is in it. A mirror polished compartment with a hinged lid for snuff tobacco is on the rear side. A sliding lever for activating the bird is on the front side. The oval lid opens automatically when the movement is switched on and a tiny bird in painted feathers appears. It spins, flaps its wings and tail, turns the head, opens and closes the beak; sound movement with leather bellows imitates bird's chirping. At the end of the movement work, the bird hides and the lid descends. The bird's movement is spring driven with a fusee - system of stabilization. Snuffbox is stored in a box with a rounded lid and a button. It is covered with dark brown velvet from outside and with light satin from inside. The key grip is in form of a ring, a rod with a square cross-section aperture.