Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird snuffbox

    Singing bird snuffbox

    Switzerland, Geneve

    circa 1840

    Freres Rochat

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

    3.6 х 9.6 х 6.5 сm, 432 gr


    Snuffbox with a singing bird in gilded silver case decorated with chiselled and engraved ornament and enamel images. Blue enamel field is on the top side, an oval keyhole in chiselled frame is in the center. A hinged lid with the enamel portrait of a Turkish nobleman is on the external side. Its inner side is mirror-polished. The lateral panels of the case are guilloched with the images of arcs. The bottom side is guilloched with foliage and floral patterns. The key hole for the winding the movement is in the bottom side. A compartment for snuff tobacco with the hinged lid is on the rear side. A sliding lever for switching the bird on is on the front side . The oval lid opens automatically when the movement is switched on. A tiny bird appears on the blue enamel field with floral elements. It is spinning, flapping its wings and tail, turning the head, opening and closing the beak; the sound movement imitates the 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 of spring stabilization. The key is double thick on one side, on the other - with a thin bar square cross-section cut.