A very fine antique tall-proportioned silver-gilt and full pictorial lidded singing bird box, by Charles Bruguier,
Fusee movement, serial number 441,
Excellence standing tall and proud...
When wound and central start/stop slide actuated, the lid opens and the bird suddenly appears, moving beak, head, bobbing tailfeather, flapping wings and sweeping entire body from side to side, all perfectly synchronised to the beautiful melodic and enchanted birdsong.
Fusee movement with high-reach pillared plates and eight cam-stack with raised sprung clutch drive, wide spring loafer bridging rectangular bellows and deep stamped maker's mark seen very clearly, operating full length performance of approximately 28 seconds.
Bird with spectacular multi-coloured layered feathered plumage in dark green, blood red, turquoise, brown, lime green and midnight blue, finished with flashes of electric green iridescence, rising through the exceptionally fine chased and tooled pierced gilt grille, back-dropped with stunning painted enamel lid interior of flowers upon Royal blue ground.
The slight-domed bird lid with a mother with children resting on the steps of their country dwelling, flanked by a scene in two parts of a Swiss landscape with a lakeside fort and quay with cattle in field, the other with a traditional Swiss chalet at the foot of a snow-capped mountain, united by two tall trees with wide canopies and rocky crops, shaped enamel frame with the border of repeating tooled arcs, decreasing circular clusters with Rococo C scrolls, within the full scrolled frame with mitred shaped corners and black enamelled band with frieze of stylised tri-form bosses all the way around.
All sides with outstanding tooled work of hanging floral garlands above crest centres and fern leaves and grasses mounting the scene, all with miniature wave-line ground, swirled scroll tooled corners and the underside with large plain shaped cartouche, abundant floral clusters and Greek key spandrels, gilt start/stop to front centre and concealed hinged key compartment to rear.
Size - 3.5/8in. wide, 2.3/8in. deep, 1.3/4in. high - (9.3 x 6 x 4.5cm)
Point of Interest -
Very few tall-proportioned singing bird boxes made by this amazing maker exist. The more generous surface area to all sides including the front, offers the eye even more time to study the detail.
And detail there most certainly is. The tooled depth seen here is much denser than the usual excellent Bruguier standard. And with the plain crests surrounded by flowers then finished off by laying everything on the lined ground, makes for a three-dimensional effect which is out of this world. Just the slightest of movements of this box in the hand to adjust the direction of the room light makes this tooled work come to life and shimmer - only possible with the decoration grade at this level.
As the case is half an inch higher, so the movement follows suit. The movement plates are further apart and the spring and fusee barrels are also taller. Therefore, the cam stack, usually seen with direct-drive clutch to the top-most cam from cam stack spindle, has been made with blanking cams between those which control movement and those which are shared/solely for whistle operation. The need for the reading needles to pass neatly across without interference from these blank cams is essential for the operation to be executed without notice during the exercise. It does this superbly.
You are viewing a special commission singing bird box, made to reveal the unrivalled standard of quality seen by Bruguier both inside and outside.