Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird snuffbox

    Singing bird snuffbox

    Switzerland, Geneve

    circa 1865

    BRUGUIER Charles Abraham

    Gold, brass, steel, feathers; chasing, engraving, painted enamel, champlevé enamel, feathers

    3.2 х 9.3 х 5.8 cm, 384 g

    "427" - stamp on the movement


    Miniature singing bird snuffbox in gold case with receding rounded vertical ribs, decorated with chasing and engraving. A floral ornament over transparent dark blue enamel background is on the top side. An oval hinged lid with enamel scenery with a country road, trees and a house in the background of the Alps is in the center, in a triple chased frame. An enamel image of a flower bouquet over a blue background is on the inner side of the lid. Geometric chased ornament of rhombus and triangles is on the sides. A sliding movement activation lever is on the front side to the right. The rear wall hinges upwards, revealing a mirror-polished tobacco compartment. A vignette comprised of arcs, intertwining curls, flowers, acanthus leaves, floral and geometric elements on a chased netlike background is in the center of the bottom side. A polished pane is inside the inside the vignette. An aperture for a winging key is in in the upper right corner. When the movement is turned on, the oval lid automatically opens; a miniature bird in feathers appears. It rotates in place, flaps its wings, opens and closes the beak. The sound movement imitates the bird’s chirping. At the end of the program, the bird is hidden behind the lattice and the lid is lowered. The movement activator is spring-loaded, with the so-called fusee - system of movement stabilization. A winding key with flat curly grip and steel rod, with a square cross-section.