Objects with Movement

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 silver gilded case in the form of a casket, decorated with elegant chased and engraved ornamentation and enamel images. A guilloche field with engraved floral ornament - two painted enamel landscapes in oval frames in the form of writhing serpents are on the top panel. A round aperture bordered with a chased frame and covered with a hinged lid in a chased frame is in the center. A painted enamel image of Venus holding a quiver with arrows and cupid with a burning torch in hand on a black background are on the lid. Enamel image of flowers bouquet on a greenish background is on the lid inner side. Chased geometric patterns are on the lateral panels. A hinged lid that closes the tobacco compartment is on the rear side. A smooth field with chased ornament, figured polished medallion and an aperture winding the movement are on the case bottom panel. A sliding lever for the bird's 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 a gilded lattice; it swings in place, flaps its wings, opens and closes the beak. The sound mechanism imitates a 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 a fusee - system of stabilization. A winding key with a ratchet, a shield-shaped grip and a rod with a square cross-section channel.