Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Musical snuffbox with singing bird, musical movement and clock

    Musical snuffbox with singing bird, musical movement and clock

    Switzerland, Geneve

    Early 19th century

    Remond, Jean-George

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

    9.3 x 5.2 cm, 195 gr

    In oval: "PC"; the maker's mark -


    Singing bird snuffbox, diamond-set, gold, engraved and enamelled, with musical movement and clock. Rectangular, with rounded corners, guilloché panels on the base and sides with engraved and enamelled borders, the top panel is decorated by the set with four old mine cut diamonds and numerous round diamonds forming scrolls enclosing an oval lid enhanced with calligraphic Arabic script monogram, all within a further row of round diamonds framing the panel. The front panel with split pearl bezel enclosing white enamel clock dial with center seconds and opening to reveal arbores for winding, setting and regulation of the watch and for winding the music and a bird, each labelled with a pictorial engraving designating the function, hinged key compartment to the side. The gilt three-part movement is comprised of: the automaton with chain fusee, cylindrical bellows and stack of eight cams controlling the motion and song of the brightly feathered bird that appears, sings and flaps the wings before retreating back into the box; the music with pinned barrel playing on stack of seven steel plates, each with three tuned teeth; and the watch movement with cylinder escapement and plain gilt balance, gold buttons on the front and back panels activate the singing bird and musical mechanisms; the box is accompanied by two gold engraved keys for operating and setting.

    The lid bears the monogram of the 19th century Ottoman Prince Shehzade Mahmud Celaleddin Efendi (1862 - 1888) son of the Turkish Sultan Abdul Aziz (1830 - 1876) who presumably had the box embellished for his son.