Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird box

    Singing bird box


    circa 1910

    Porcelain, brass, steel, feathers; casting, chasing, repoussé, micromosaic, gilding, gem stones' setting

    11 x 8.7 x 8 cm, 494 gr

    On the reverse side of the porcelain medallion: "Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin"; mark of the Meissen porcelain manufactory in the form of two blue crossed swords


    Singing bird box in a complicated case made of gold-plated metal, decorated with onlay elements in the form of hemispheres, cast curls, leaves and twisted cords on the repousse background. Four black medallions with images of ancient ruins, made in the technique of micromosaic are fixed in the oval openwork rosettes on the lateral sides’ surfaces. Cast onlay feet, leaning on hollow balls, are tied by a double twisted metal cord. An oval window, closed with medallion of biscuit porcelain in openwork frame on hinges is the top lid center. The frame with the medallion serves as a cover for the singing bird movement. The relief images of antique female heads with wreaths of grape leaves are on both sides of the medallion. The illegible relief inscription in German and a blue mark are on the lid inner side. The lid-medallion is automatically opened when the movement is activated; a miniature bird in painted feathers appears from under it. It turns in place, flaps its wings, opens and closes the beak. The sound movement imitates bird’s chirping. At the end of the program, the bird is hidden under the openwork gilded lattice and the lid is lowered.

    The push out switch of the singing bird movement is located in the box lateral side. A keyhole is in the box bottom.