Silver and Enamel Singing Bird Box


Anonymous    Swiss
Circa   1900
Dimensions   45 x 83 x 118 mm         

1 in stock


A late 19th Century Swiss automated singing bird in a silver and enamel box.  Brass going barrel movement keywound through the base. Small bellows and piston mechanism provides air to a variable whistle to mimic birdsong operated by a system of cams and levers.   The bird covered with multi-coloured feathered plumage, iridescent highlights to bib and wings.  Moving the pull at the side of the box causes the oval lid to open and the bird to hinge into an upright position, rising through chased and pierced gilt grille.  While playing the automated bird moves its bone beak, flaps its wings, bobs its  tail feather and moves from side-to-side, synchronised to the continuous birdsong.  Unusual silver box enamelled on all faces apart from the base.  The four sides with polychrome enamel landscapes and central oval cartouches depicting cherubs.  The top with polychrome enamel depicting goddesses and cherubs at the four corners.  Gilt frame to the polychrome enamel oval lid with two cherubs and doves.  Key wound through the plain base, key in the shape of a bird.