Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Snuffbox with automaton

    Snuffbox with automaton

    Western Europe

    circa 1790

    Paper, gilded metal, steel; chasing, gilding, oil painting

    Diameter 6.4 cm, 110 gr

    "12" on the key

    Snuffbox in cylindrical case with a lid. The lateral surface and the bottom are decorated with lacquered paper with red and gold stripes. A scene of rural life with moving figures is depicted on the top side of the lid: a man is sharpening a knife, one woman is milking a cow, another - churns butter, the third - combs the wool. The image is covered by a circular transparent lid that is fixed by a gilded metal wide rim with the chased floral ornament. The lid edge, the bottom surface and the edge are famed by thin smooth rims. A spring that drives the figures is mounted in the lid. The movement is protected by a tortoiseshell cover with a keyhole in it.

    The movement control lever is located near the upper edge of the lid. A tortoiseshell cup for snuff tobacco is mounted in the case base. The winding key grip is comprised of two rings.