Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird snuffbox

    Singing bird snuffbox

    Switzerland, Paris

    circa 1850

    Bruguier senior Charles-Abraham

    Silver, brass, steel, painted feathers, leather, velvet; gilding, engraving, guilloche, painted enamel

    9.7 x 6 x 3.8 cm, 419 gr

    On the movement: "278"

    Snuffbox in rectangular gilded silver case with curly vertical ribs covered with reticulate chiselling. The upper surface is covered with painted enamel in combination with chiselling. Painted images of flowers are on blue background with complicated vignettes in the corners. External contours are outlined by thin white and black lines. The images of white shamrocks in small vignettes are on blue with gold background. Black floral elements are between large vignettes. Green transparent acanthus leaves on the repousse field along the case long sides. An oval hinged lid surrounded by chiselled rosettes is in the centre of the upper surface. The image of a mountain landscape with chalet in the foreground is on the external side of the lid, a bouquet of flowers on dark blue background, surrounded by undulating golden is on the inner side. The lateral sides of the case are decorated with the engraved ornament with foliate elements over guilloche background in vignettes with geometric elements. Ornately shaped sliding lever for winding the movement is on the front side to the left. The bottom surface is guilloched with chiselled pattern of branches, flowers and acanthus leaves. A keyhole for the bird's movement is in the corner. The rear side hinges upwards, opening the compartment for snuff tobacco. The oval lid opens automatically after switching on the movement, a tiny bird in coloured 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 closes. The movement is equipped with a fusee - system for spring force stabilization. The set includes a winding key and a wooden box, covered with red leather from outside and with dark red velvet from inside and a compartment for the key in the bottom.