Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird box

    Singing bird box

    France, Paris

    Circa 1955

    Bontems, Blaise

    Metal, steel, brass, painted feathers; engraving, chasing, repousse, gilding

    3.4 х 9.45 х 5.95 cm, 428 gr

    On the movement: "AB France for Bontems", on the stamp imprint: 'Breguet, 28 Place Vendome PARIS'


    Box with singing bird in unsophisticated designed case of gilded metal, decorated by chased and niello patterns. The case top surface has horizontal engraving and niello frame. An oval aperture is bordered with polished frame, the hinged lid covers it. Its external surface is decorated with chased flower composition and its inner surface is mirror-polished. Vertical engravings with horizontal ornaments in the form of beads along the bottom are on the lateral sides. The bottom surface of the case is matte-finished. A keyhole and four screws heads are in the case bottom. A sliding lever for switching the bird's movement is on the upper right part of the front side. The oval lid opens automatically during the movement operation 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 imitates bird's chirping. At the end, the bird hides and the lid descends. A stamp with the manufacturer's mark is on the movement mounting board. The item is stored in red box with a button. An imprint of the Hhallmark is on the lid inner side. The key has a curly grip and cylindrical bar with square cross-section aperture.