Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Snuffbox with singing bird

    Snuffbox with singing bird

    France, Paris



    Metal, brass, leather, velvet; gilding, casting, guilloche

    14 x 11.2 x 3.9 cm, 837 g

    On the box bottom side: “BREGUET 1647", on the inner side of the case lid ”Breguet 28. Place Vendom Paris”

    Snuffbox in rectangular gilded case. All sides except the bottom are covered with similar geometric guilloche pattern. The lid and base are overhanging the case. The bottom with a keyhole is engraved with a fine mesh. The engraved name of the manufacturer and serial number are on the bottom side.  Part of the interior space is occupied by the singing bird movement. It is located in the separate compartment and covered with an oval lid. The upper side of the case is guilloched. A lever for switching the movement on is  the lateral side. When the box is opened, the oval lid is raised up. A tiny bird in coloured feathers comes out. It is spinning, flapping its wings and tail, turning the head, opening and closing the beak; the sound movement imitates bird's chirping. When the movement ends, the bird hides under the gilded openwork lattice, and the lid closes. The box and the lid are mirror-polished. The set (snuffbox and winding key)  are stored in the case that is covered with red leather from outside and with brown velvet from inside.