Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Rural house-shaped musical desktop set

    Rural house-shaped musical desktop set


    Circa 1840

    Alphonese Giroux & Co

    Bronze, wood, steel, glass, brass; gilding, casting, veneering

    21.25 x 18.75 x 25 cm

    Maker's mark on the case left side: “A.Giroux”


    Musical desktop set on fine tulip wood ormolu mounted base in silvered and gilt bronze is in the shape of a farmhouse on a naturalistic base with wells, paddock and a horse-rider galloping by with a dog running at his heels. The set with various inkwells and penholders, with a stamp, which is mounted in the base of the rider and horse. When it is lifted out, the musical movement automatically plays. When it is lifted out the the next time, the musical movement automatically plays another tune. There are three tunes. Various farmhouse roofs open up and are all hinged. The cast set is largely in gilt bronze (ormolu); it has parts picked out in silver too. These include vegetation on the farmhouse, birds on the roof and on the top of the well (inkwell), the dog and the millstream.

    François-Simon-Alphonese Giroux (1776-1848) was French restorer and cabinet maker, the official restorer of the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, specializing in manufacturing exquisite items, he repeatedly won the prizes at the Industrial Exhibitions. In 1839, Alphonese Giroux presented the first commercial photographic camera in the world - Daguerreotype that he created under the supervision of the inventor Louis Daguerre.