Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Snuffbox with automaton

    Snuffbox with automaton

    France, Paris


    Piguet Isaac Daniel, Golay Louis, Chaponnier Alexandre

    Gold, agate, brass, glass, ivory; painted enamel, guilloche, engraving, repoussé, chasing

    7.4 x 9.1 x 2.8 cm

    Inscription on the comb: "Golay, rue du Coq No 6 Paris, 1817". Case: 18K gold, signed "Piguet à Paris, 1819" and "Chaponnier, 1817", worn tax mark. 


    Two-tunes Empire-style music snuffbox with a miniature portrait of Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland and stepdaughter of Napoleon Bonaparte. Rectangular box with rounded corners, sides and base decorated with empire-style ornaments: chased tendrils, vases and flower bouquets, fancy birds and animals surrounded with leaves. Engine-turned base with geometrical pattern of pearls and circles in the center. The lid with glazed rectangular half-length portrait painted on ivory; framed by a chased border of stylized tulips. Exquisite portrait of young Hortense de Beauharnais in white empire-style dress and blue robe trimmed with lynx: Hortense is wearing a pearl necklace and a circlet in her elaborately styled hair, her arm rests on the back of a red armchair. The painting is signed on the left side: "Chaponnier, 1817". Two slides on the right long side: left slide - to change tunes, right slide - to activate the music movement. High quality music movement, brass, with pin cylinder, vibrating reeds, two-arm centrifugal brake. The movement is wonded with a key with a round grip, with a flat insert of agate. The case of the snuffbox is made in the workshop of the Parisian jeweler Isaac Daniel Piguet (Isaac Daniel Piguet), the musical movement is made by Parisian master Louis Golay.