Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Elephant-shaped singing bird box

    Elephant-shaped singing bird box

    Germany, Hanau

    first half of the 20th century

    J. Kurz & Co.

    Silver, brass, steel, feathers, ivory; сasting, engraving, chasing, lathing

    16 x 32 x 13 cm, 1270 g

    Illegible hallmarks on the belly


    Singing bird in a silver body in the form of an elephant with head with trunk and ivory tusks, a tail and four legs, with chasing and engraving, imitating the texture of the elephant's skin. An oval aperture with a hinged lid is on the elephant's back. A smaller lid with a relief image of musical instruments and a singing bird inside under it. An aperture for the bird’s movement winding and illegible hallmarks are on the elephant belly. To turn on the bird's movement, one needs to raise the trunk up.

    When the movement is switched on, the tail of the elephant moves, both lids open, the miniature bird in painted feathers of red, black, brown, green, yellow colours turns in place, flaps its wings, waves its tail, 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 silver lattice and the lids are closed. A crown with a bird-shaped grip and a long rod with a square cross-section channel.