Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird box

    Singing bird box

    Switzerland, Geneve

    Bruguier Charles-Abraham (The Senior)

    Silver, brass, steel, feathers, enamel, ivory; engraving, chasing, gilding, painted enamel, champlevé enamel, carving

    16.5 x 11 x 5.5 cm, 1785 g

    Maker's mark on the movement: "A320 Charles Bruguier père Grand Pré 518 à Genève 1828", on the paper: "Charles Bruguier père Grand Pré 518 à Genève 1828". Two marks on the welt in the form of a swan in oval (French silver marks for the used items)


    Singing bird box in silver gilded rectangular case with rounded corners, decorated with floral and geometric chased ornamentation and enamel images. Engraved ivy leaf pattern in the frame of black enamel with round inserts and trefoils at the corners, foliage ornament around brown enamel bands and an aperture for the movement winding is on the top panel on blue enamel surface. An oval aperture bordered with black enamel frame with round inserts and a chain of pearls, and closed with a hinged lid is in the center. Painted enamel image of flower bouquet on blue enamel field with a pattern in the form of curls along the edge is on the lid. The inner lid side is mirror-polished. A repeating geometric ornament of rosettes and rectangles with acanthus leaves is on the side panels. A guilloche field with an oval medallion in floral frame in the center, engraved ivy leaves and interlacing ornamentation in the middle and edges is on the bottom panel. The bird's movement activating pin is on the top left part of the front side. When the movement is turned on, the oval lid automatically opens; a relatively large bird with pink eyes appears in the field with a gilded lattice. It swirls in place, flaps the wings, opens and closes the ivory beak. The sound movement imitates the sonorous chirping of birds. At the end of the program, the bird hides in the groove in the gilded lattice and the lid is lowered.

    Bird’s movement with the maker’s mark, spring drive, rectangular bellow and cam control system.
    The box is stored in the embossed brown leather case with a hinged lid and a lock, inside the base is a purple velvet lodgement and a sheet paper with a handwritten inscription, the lid inner side is pasted with white satin. Brass crown with a bird-shaped grip and a rod with a square cross-section channel.