Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird box

    Singing bird box


    circa 1900

    J. Kurz & Co.

    Silver, amethyst, bronze, brass, steel, feathers; gilding, casting, stone setting, champlevé enamel

    15 х 9.4 х 11.25 см, 1016 g


    Complex shaped box is in the form of a casket - rectangular upper part is placed on a pyramidal base with four curly legs. Rectangular insert decorated around the perimeter with a thin chiselled floral ornament and fixed with screws is on the upper side. A round lid is in the center of the inset. The screw heads are made in the form of flowers. Ornately shaped volumised onlays with fixed pearls and purple amethyst cabochons are attached to the lid and onlays. The onlays' background is from dark blue transparent enamel. Rectangular inserts with dark blue enamel background are on the lateral sides. They are decorated with volumetric open work onlays with chiselled plants and interlaced ribbons. An amethyst cabochon and a pair of small pearls are fixed In the center of each onlay. There are volumetric onlays with plants, twisted plaits and ribbons with chiselled patterns, with cabochon amethyst and pearls at the corners of the base. Chiselled floral ornament on repousse field is on the sloping sides of the base. There is a small pull-out case on the front panel. There is an ornately shaped knob with pearls on the front panel of the case. The lateral sides are decorated with chiselled floral ornament, the lower side is covered with regular geometric chiselled patterns. A sliding bird shaped lever for switching the movement is on the front side of the casket. The round lid opens automatically when the movement is switched on and a tiny bird appears. It has colored feathers, spins, flaps its wings, opens and closes the beak; sound movement imitates the bird's chirping. At the end of the movement work the bird hides under the open work gilded engraved lattice and the lid closes. A winding hole is in the box bottom. The set includes the winding key.