Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Snuffbox with automaton and watch

    Snuffbox with automaton and watch

    Britain, Switzerland, London

    circa 1775

    W. Hughes

    Gold, gold, diamonds, agate, brass, steel, glass; engraving, chasing, gem stones setting

    Height 4.5 cm, width 7.6 cm, depth 5.5 cm

    “W Hughes, London” on the watch, «Musical automaton snuff box with watch, c.1775, sttttt», «Swiss, c1775, 17996, sttttt» on the inserts


    An oval gold snuffbox with two hinged lids with snaps. The upper one opens access to the polished compartment for snuff tobacco, the lower one - to the automaton and music movement. The top lid is decorated with engraved floral ornament. A watch with a convex glass, framed with diamonds surrounded by relief beams of gold, diverge as a six-pointed star, around - six cabochons of dendritic (moss) agate in chased frames is in the lid center. White enamel dial with two hands, black Roman numerals marking the hours and an aperture for the spring winding. The engraved floral ornament and medallions with images of the attributes of the military tattoo are on the lateral sides’ surface and lower lid. Narrow cuts for the sound output are on the lower lid edge and side surfaces. A painted scene with a musician, dancing couple in the interior and a girl on a swing behind an open window is under the lid. An aperture for the spring winding is to the left, the movement starting lever is below. A winding key with a grip comprised of a ring and an oval with a hexagonal plate with figure "4" between them and a cylindrical rod with square cross-section channel. A watch winding key with a cylinder-like grip on the axis with a notch, a conic neck and a short stem.