Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird snuffbox

    Singing bird snuffbox

    Switzerland, Geneve

    Mid 19th century

    Charles Bruguier

    Silver, brass, steel, feathers; guilloche, chasing, gilding, painted enamel

    3.5 х 10 х 6.4 сm, 422 gr


    Snuffbox in gilded silver case in the form of a casket, decorated with elegant chased and engraved patterns and enamel images. Guilloche field with the engraved floral ornament - two painted enamel landscapes in oval frames in the form of writhing serpents are on the top panel. Circular aperture bordered with the chased frame and closed with hinged lid in chased frame is in the center. The painted enamel image of Venus holding a quiver with arrows and cupid with burning torch in the hand on black background are on the lid. Enamel image of flower bouquet on greenish background is on the lid inner side. Chased geometric patterns are on the lateral panels. The hinged lid that closes tobacco compartment is on the rear side. Smooth field with chased ornament, ornately-shaped polished medallion and aperture for winding the movement are on the case bottom panel.Sliding lever for the bird movement activation is on the front side. When the mechanism is turned on, the lid automatically opens, a miniature bird in bright plumage appears on gilded lattice; it swings in place, flaps its wings, opens and closes the beak. The sound mechanism imitates sonorous bird’s chirping. At the end of the program, the bird hides in the groove in the openwork lattice and the lid closes. The movement is spring-actuated, with the fusee - system of stabilization. Winding key with ratchet, shield-shaped grip and rod with the square cross-section channel.