Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Music necessaire

    Music necessaire

    Austria, Vienna

    circa 1870

    Silver, steel, brass, enamel; engraving, chasing, casting, painted enamel, gilding

    13.4 x 6.5 x 17.2 cm, 991 gr

    Official stamp of Vienna hallmark bureau: "A" for the period 1866-1872. Master's mark: "RR"


    Necessaire in the form of a miniature escritoire with organ pipes and music movement. In a silver gilded tall oblong case on four sphinx feet, all-over enamel panels with personifications in crimson Camaieux painting. Rectangular base with drawer and music movement, lateral panels with depictions of Fortitudo (fortitude) and Fama (rumour), back with two more female figures, front with polychrome floral ornamentation. Middle part with two hinged doors hiding the 11 organ pipes, enamelled panels showing the four elements: Earth and Fire on the sides, Air and Water on the back. Outer and inner door panels with illustrations of the muses Clio (history, with a parchment scroll), Terpsichore (dance, with a lyre), Erato (lyric poetry, with a kithara) and a personification of painting with brush and easel. Hinged top, engraved interior, slots for toiletry equipment. Top part with four segments depicting the four seasons. Stylized flowers in the corners, crowning central floral polychrome enamelling, and green gemstone pushers for opening the individual compartments. music movement: pinned cylinder, 28 vibrating blades, wind, and governor.