An extremely fine antique silver-gilt and enamel singing bird box, by Charles Bruguier
Our pictorial and flower enamel masterpiece...
When wound and start/stop slide to centre slid to the right, the bird rises smoothly through very finely tooled and pierced gilt grille, moving beak, head turning, wings, tailfeather bobbing and body from side-to-side to paused sequential birdsong in 1-1-2-3-2-3-4 order lasting over 20 seconds.
The bird with exquisite alternate banded feathered plumage in lime and dark greens, head with teal green highlighted with orange sides, inset front polished bay border, lid interior with petit-painted enamel study of roses, pansies and French blues within floral spray on duck-egg blue ground, laurel leaf tooled border, in magnificent silver-gilt case with the movement plate beside mainspring ratchet stamped C. BRUGUIER, the corners with mitre point shaped corners, main top with geometric trefoils from black enamel frame, further floral enamel spray spandrels finished with double black enamel framing, multiplediamond tooled edge frieze before full tooled sides featuring delicate swags and leaves from central obverse heart crests, union-tie corners, hidden key compartment to rear and underside with large crested cartouche to chequer-board ground and loop-wave frieze surround.
3.7/8in. wide, 2.5/8in. deep, 1.5/8in. high - (9.8 x 6.7 x 4.2cm)
Point of interest -
Bruguier birdsong sequences tended to change through technical evolution. Where Jacques Bruguier settled on his long worked out 1-2-3-2-3-4 cam cut, Charles had a small number of variations including one which made it to number 6. This movement uses half of the first short song as repeat and keeping song 4 a longer affair to finish. This sequencing is the most preferred, due to song complexity.
As ever, the Bruguier case detail and toolwork is truly outstanding with no damage at all seen - wonderful.