Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Snuffbox with singing bird

    Snuffbox with singing bird

    Switzerland, Geneve

    circa 1850

    Bruguier senior Charles-Abraham

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

    9.3 х 6.0 х 4.2 cm, 451 g

    Stamp on the key: "2"

    Snuffbox in rectangular gilded silver case with curly vertical ribs. The top side is coated with painted enamel with floral ornament on turquoise background. The perimeter is decorated with chiselling and black enamel ornament. An oval hinged lid is in the centre. The mountain landscape with a chalet in the foreground is depicted on the external surface of the lid. The miniature is decorated with chiselled frame. A flower bouquet on  turquoise background in on the internal side. The case lateral sides are decorated with chiselled floral ornament. A sliding lever for switching the movement on, is in the center of the front side. The lower surface is guilloched, with chiselled geometric ornament that surrounds the medallion. A windinghole for the bird's movement is in the corner. The rear side hinges upwards, opening the compartment for snuff tobacco. The rear side hinges backwards, opening a compartment for snuff tobacco.                                                                                                                                                    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 spring force. The winding key has a form of an oval and a ring that are connected by a stamp and a cylindrical rod with a square cross-section.