Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird box

    Singing bird box


    the 20th century

    Griesbaum, Karl firm, Brenk Emil

    Metal, brass, steel, feathers, enamel; chasing, gilding, painted enamel, champlevé enamel

    4.5 x 19.5 x 7 cm, 554 g

    Maker's mark on the bottom panel: Latin letters in oval “EB”; inscription: “METALL”


    Singing bird box in metal gilded rectangular case, decorated with elegant chased ornament and enamel images. Blue enamel field and multicoloured enamel flower bouquets in chased frame with vignettes and leaves on white enamel field are on the top panel. An oval aperture bordered with chased frame and covered with a hinged lid in chased frame is in the center. Painted enamel image of two girls and a young man in an open air is on the lid. The lid inner side is mirror-polished. Chased geometric patterns are on the lateral sides. Smooth field with a thin chased ornament in the form of a double frame with shamrocks in the corners, hallmarks and a keyhole are on the bottom panel. A shifting lever for activating the bird’s movement is on the front panel right side.

    When the movement is turned on, the oval lid automatically opens; a miniature bird in bright plumage of red, yellow, blue and green colours appears on openwork gilded lattice. It swirls in place, flaps its wings, opens and closes the beak. The sound movement imitates the sonorous chirping of birds. At the end of the program, the bird is hidden in the groove in the openwork gilded lattice and the lid is lowered.

    The brass music movement with a spring drive, rectangular bellows and cam control system.