Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird snuffbox

    Singing bird snuffbox

    Switzerland, Geneve

    circa 1825

    Gold, brass, steel, feathers,; engraving, chiselling, casting, painted enamel

    2.75 х 7.8 х 5.2 cm, 250 g

    Hallmarks: "C-1" in oval and "18 k"


    Snuffbox with a singing bird in golden case with rounded vertical ribs, decorated with chiselled and enamelled ornaments. A volumised floral ornament is on the top panel. An oval hinged lid with enamel image of a bouquet of flowers on blue background in a frame of pearls is in the center. Guilloche field in a double frame is on the lateral sides. Images of the torches with the "flame of eternal love" are on the ribs. The sliding lever for switching the movement on is on the front side to the right. A mirror-polished compartment for snuff tobacco with the hinged lid is on the rear side. The lower surface is guilloched, with chiselled white gold flower ornament and an aperture for winding the movement. When the movement is switched on the oval lid opens automatically. A tiny bird in coloured feathers comes out. It is spinning in place, flapping its wings and tail, wagging head, opening and closing the beak; the sound movement imitates bird's chirping. When the movement is turned off, the bird hides under the gilded openwork lattice, and the lid closes. The movement is spring driven , with a fusee - system for spring force stabilization. The key with an oval grip and a square cross-section rod.