A fabulous and very fine antique silver-gilt and enamel singing bird box, by Jacques Bruguier,
Fusee movement, Serial number 26,
The enamel gem of singing bird boxes...
When wound and actuated by sliding the button to the right, the bird emerges triumphantly through incredibly detailed tooled richly gilt grille with three dimensional scrolls, moving beak, wings, head, tailfeather and body sweeping side-to-side, accompanied by the Bruguier paused sequential birdsong in 1-1-2-3-2-3-4 order lasting an impressive 30 seconds.
The bird with striped feathered plumage in predominant green, yellow and orange iridescence, banded with matt black, blue and orange, lid interior highly polished for full bird reflection, the lid top with exceptional painted enamel study of a Swiss cliff dwelling with two figures strolling along ridge side path, a waterfall flowing into the gorge below with tree opposing tree lined bank, snow-capped mountains beyond and low sun setting the scene, rosehead and shell engraved border, main lid and all sides with very significant geometric interlocking stylised Greek keys inset in jet black and turquoise enamels, twined Rococo C scrolls to edges and the intermediate ground finished with petit-point and diamond toolwork, shaped indent corners and edge frieze of arrow tips and further roseheads, jet black and turquoise enamel infils to all sides with additional trefoils and arches, tooling of the highest complexity, concluded with the underside tooled with shield cartouche on opposing racing chevron and wave-line ground, hidden key compartment to rear.
3.7/8in. wide, 2.3/8in. deep, 1.3/8in. high - (9.8 x 6 x 3.5cm)
Point of interest -
Few makers captivate viewers as well as the Bruguier family. This movement shows all the hallmarks of one of Jacques's earlier masterpieces, with straight bellow string, close-seqmented fan spindle and blued rods from the eight cam-stack from which both movement and song derives. Please take a very good look at the quality of the tooling as well as the enamel. Many attempted to copy J. Bruguier, none succeeded in bettering him.