Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird snuffbox

    Singing bird snuffbox

    Switzerland, Geneve

    circa 1860

    Bruguier senior Charles-Abraham

    Gold, diamonds, brass, steel, feathers; chiselling, champlevé enamel, painted enamel

    10.4 x 6.6 x 3.5 cm, 349 g

    On the rear lid is scratched: "18"


    Snuffbox in gold rectangular case with rounded vertical ribs covered with chiselled floral ornament. A thin chiselled floral pattern on turquoise enamel background is on the upper side. Dark silhouettes of birds, filled with small diamonds are in the corners. The lid with painted enamel depicting the wandering violinist with a dog and standing next to him kids against the background of mountains are in the center in the chiselled oval frame. The dog has a begging bowl in its teeth. The painted image of mountain landscape, balustrade with flower pots and a lush bouquet of flowers in the foreground is on the inner lid surface. The lateral sides are decorated with the engraved braided ornament. There is a smooth surface medallion in the middle of the front side. The sliding lever for switching on the movement is on the top to the right. The bottom side is covered with chiselled floral ornament and interlaced branches. The keyhole for winding the bird's movement is in the corner. The rear panel opens upward, opening the compartment for snuff tobacco. When the movement is switched on, the oval lid opens automatically and a tiny bird appears. The bird with bright feathers turns in place, flaps its wings, opens and closes its beak; sound movement imitates the bird's chirping. At the end of the movement working the bird hides under the open work gold engraved lattice and the lid closes.