Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Snuffbox with singing bird

    Snuffbox with singing bird

    Switzerland, Geneve

    circa 1840

    Bruguier Charles-Abraham

    Silver, brass, steel, leather, wood, feathers; gilding, engraving, chiselling, blueing, painted enamel

    10.1 х 6.7 х 3.8 cm, 448 g

    Snuffbox in rectangular gilded silver case with curly vertical ribs. The upper side is covered with painted enamel combined with chiselling and engraving. White shamrocks are located in the middle of the case's sides on blue background. Chiselled vignette is around an oval lid in the center and four painted enamel bouquets on dark blue background in thin embossed vignettes composed of arcs are in the corners. Enamel image of a mountain landscape, a lake, trees and a shallet in the foreground is on the external surface of the oval lid. A bouquet of flowers on green background is on the lid  inner surface. The lateral sides of the case are decorated with chiselled engraved foliate ornament. A sliding curly lever for switching the movement on is on the front side. The lower surface is guilloched with an engraved image of a vase with flowers surrounded by an ornament of branches and leaves. The keyhole for winding the bird is in the corner. The rear side hinges backwards, opening a 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 the 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 comes down. The movement is equipped with a fusee - system for stabilization of the force of the spring. The set includes a winding key with the profile of Nefertiti and a wooden box, which is covered with red leather from outside and with dark red velvet inside.