Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird snuffbox

    Singing bird snuffbox

    Switzerland, Geneve

    circa 1860

    Bruguier, Charles-Abraham (The Senior)

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

    3.9 x 9.7 x 6.3 cm, 404 g

    On the movement: "371" and inscription "Charles Bruguier"


    Snuffbox with a singing bird in gilded silver case with rounded vertical ribs, decorated with engraved ornament and enamel images. Enamel images of flowers on blue background surrounded by white curly frame and engraved ornament are on the top panel of the case. An oval aperture with chiselled frame is in the center; the hinged lid is inside. Painted enamel image of an alpine landscape with a lake, house and trees in the foreground on the external side and an enamel image of a flower bouquet on blue background in chiselled frame on the lid inner side. Guilloche surfaces with garlands and floral ornaments are on the lateral and the bottom panels of the case. An aperture for the movement winding is on the bottom panel. Vertical ribs are decorated with flower ornament. The mirror polished compartment for snuff tobacco with the hinged lid and the engraved inscription "1887" is on the rear side. A sliding lever for switching on the bird movement is on the front side. When the movement is switched on the oval lid opens automatically, a tiny bird appears on the open-work lattice. The bird turns, flaps its wings, opens and closes the beak; sound movement imitates the bird's chirping. At the end of the movement's work the bird hides and the lid closes. The movement with a spring drive, with fusee-system stabilization, motion control system - cam.  A number and master's hallmark are on the movement. The winding key with a round grip and a bar with a square cross-section. The box is stored in a cardboard case, its exteral syrface is covered with green velvet  and its inner surface - with orange atlas. With a knob. The key and the case are manufectured later than the box.