Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird snuffbox

    Singing bird snuffbox


    Circa 1820

    Gold, pearls, brass, steel, feathers; engraving, guilloche, chasing, casting, gem stones setting

    84 x 60 x 32 см

    On the tobacco compartment lid welt: "FR" "18К", "CI", letter "G" under the crown, illegible marks. "FR" in oval on the movement's plate


    Snuffbox in rectangular gold case with rounded corners, with split seed-pearls, diamond and ruby embellished, the fusee movement with clutched eight cam-stack, wide-angle elbow windpipe, maker stamp with FR within oval on the bottom, rectangular bellows, the bird with streaked layered plumage in dark brown, grey and red feathers, iridescent highlights in green and turquoise, moving head, beak, wings tail feather and body to predicted paused sequential birdsong, rising through finely chased panel gilt lattice, the main ground with diamonds and star unions, semi-circle pierced edge, lid-lock feature intact but catch bolt lacking, plain polished lid interior for full bird reflection, the lid top with delicate floral spray in gold, with central stems tied with bowed ribbon, three large flower heads of mounted diamonds, snowdrop with diamond cascade and ruby centers for other flowers intertwined with further stems and leaves, petit-point border to gilt base, the main lid of exceptional detailed leaf swags, scrolls, berries and daffodil and rose heads set in three tone gold on Florentine gold ground, tooled border with egg-and-dart rim, meeting bird lid with closely-set ring of 51 split pearls (one missing), front and sides with flute-leaf friezes and wave-line ground panels, repeated to rear hidden key compartment, the corners with opposing scroll boss terminals and the underside with fern leaves and matching side frieze scrolls, bordering the multi-wave line ground center, start/stop button front-right, with female winding key.