Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Singing bird box with clock

    Singing bird box with clock

    Western Europe

    The first half of the 20th century

    Silver, brass, pearls, steel, feathers, ivory, enamel, glass, coloured gems; casting, engraving, bone carving, champlevé enamel, gem stones setting, enamel over lathing

    Height: 20 cm, 1020 gr

    On the key: "8"


    Singing bird box, with clock, in cast silver gilt hull of complex shape on four feet with foliage ornamentation, images of polychrome champlevé enamel and two ivory figures. Three trees in the lilac enamel frame are on the top panel. Nest with pearl eggs and two pigeons decorated with transparent red gems and pearls are on the trees’ twisted crowns with leaves of green transparent enamel and pink fruits. A boy's figure is under the trees to the left and a young woman in clothes ornated with multicoloured gems, sitting on a lawn with flowers and leaves of polychrome champlevé enamel and looking at the bird in the cage in to the right. A door is between them. Onlay figurines of the girls: a sculptor and an artist at work are on the front side under the lambrequin with a chain of red and blue gems, fringe and bows on lilac enamel field over engraving. A clock in the reclining case, covered with a glass lid in the frame of pink gems, with blue dial and golden center in the form of a flower and rays, with hours’ graduation by Roman numerals and two blued steel hands is between the figurines. The lateral sides are framed by lilac and black enamel laurel leaves and decorated with polychrome champlevé enamel.

    The movement on/off rod is on the right lateral side. Images of champlevé dark blue, green and yellow enamel music instruments under a lambrequin with a chain of red and blue gems, fringe and bows are on the rear side. An aperture for the bird's movement winding and four screws’ heads are on the bottom panel. When the rod is extended, a miniature bird in painted feathers of brown, red, green, yellow colours appears. It turns in place, flaps its wings, opens and closes the beak. The sound movement imitates bird’s chirping. The clock on bridge plates, with lever escarpment, with a keyhole, simple balance and regulator indicator. The box is stored in brown leather case with two locks, covered with blue satin inside.

    Two keys are used: for winding the clock and the bird's movement.