Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Signing bird ivory box

    Signing bird ivory box

    first half of the 20th century

    Ivory, brass, steel, feathers; ivory carving, polishing, lathing

    12 x 13.5 x 10 cm, 605 g


    Singing bird box in rectangular ivory case with vertical ribs in the form of columns of square cross-section with a base and a capital adorned with acanthus leaves, with four-sloped lid, protruding cornice, on four curly feet. Bas-reliefs with the images of hunting attributes are on the lid slopes, rectangular platform with a figurine of a hunting dog is on the top rectangular plate, the lid inner side is covered with light cloth. An oval aperture, covered with a hinged lid decorated with a pad of volumetric flowers. The lid inner surface is mirror polished. Bas-reliefs with the images of hunting scenes with follow hounds are on the lateral panels. A button is on the front panel, the movement on/off lever is on the right panel. An aperture for winding the bird’ movement and five fixing screws’ heads are on the bottom smooth panel.

    When the movement is turned on after the lid with the dog's figure is lifted, the oval lid opens, and a miniature bird in painted feathers of brown, red, green, blue, yellow and black colours appears. It swirls 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 in the groove in the openwork gilded lattice and the lid is closed. A crown with a bird-shaped grip and a rod with a square cross-section channel.