Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird snuffbox

    Singing bird snuffbox

    Switzerland, Geneve

    Circa 1839

    Bruguier, Charles (the senior)

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

    3.4 х 9.4 х 6 cm, 400 gr

    On the key "AHMET ZNT”


    Graceful and rare box with a singing bird in gilded silver case decorated with engraved and chased ornaments and enamel images. The floral chased pattern with dark blue enamel is on the top panel. An oval aperture is on the top panel. It is framed with chased and enamel flower garlands. A hinged lid covers the aperture. The painted enamel image of a bright pagoda on the lakeside with a boat and the rowers in the eastern robes are on the lid external surface. The inner surface is decorated with enamel image of a bouquet of flowers on light blue background in a chased frame. An engraved and chased geometric pattern with a meander on friezes and volutes is on the lateral panels' bottom. A guilloched field with floral ornaments and a keyhole are on the case bottom. A mirror-polished compartment for snuff tobacco is on the rear side. A sliding lever for switching the bird on is on the front panel. The oval lid opens 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 under the guilded engraved openwork lattice and the lid descends. The bird's movement is spring driven, with a fusee - system of movement stabilization.

    The key grip is in the form of a shield with an inscription, a bar with a square cross-section aperture.