Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird snuffbox

    Singing bird snuffbox

    Switzerland, Geneve

    circa 1865

    Bruguier Charles-Abraham

    Silver, brass, steel, feathers; casting, gilding, engraving, painted enamel

    10.2 х 6.4 х 3.9 cm, 449 gr

    On the frame around the oval lid - "The International Exhibition of Dublin 1865"; scratched inside the box on the bottom: "10615"


    Snuffbox in rectangular gilded silver case with curly vertical ribs. The upper side is covered with painted enamel combined with chiselling and engraving. Chiselled vignette with a garland of green Scottish shamrocks around an oval in the lid center are on the blue background. An inscription in English is on the oval metal frame between the vignette and the lid. Four painted  bouquets on dark blue background in thin embossed vignettes composed of arcs are in the corners. Chiselled contours of shamrocks are in the middle of the narrow sides. The painted enamel image showing Dublin Exhibition Palace is on the external side of the oval lid. Bouquet of flowers on light green background is on its inner side. Lateral sides of the case are decorated with chiselled and engraved floral ornament. Ornately shaped sliding lever for switching on the movement is on the front panel to the right. The bottom side surface is guilloched. The engraved composition of ribbons is surrounded by an ornament of branches and leaves in the middle. A keyhole for winding the bird's movement is in the corner. The rear panel hinges upward, opening the compartment for snuff tobacco. The oval lid opens automatically after switching on the movement, a tiny bird in painted feathers appears. It spins, flaps its wings and tail, turns its head, opens and closes the beak; sound movement imitates bird's chirping. On completion of the movement's work the bird hides under the gilded engraved openwork lattice and the lid closes. The movement is equipped with a fusee - stabilization system for spring force. Winding key from white metal has ornamentally shaped grip and  short rod.