A contemporary maroon lacquer and metal gilt singing bird cigar dispenser carousel, by Reuge,
mid-late 20th century,
Serial number 7823,
A sweet birdsong distraction during your Havana dreams...
When wound and the start/stop button is pressed on the side, the birdsong starts and immediately the six slight-curved partition doors open slowly to reveal the cigars tucked in pockets verso, until the singing bird perched centrally within is visible at last, before the doors slowly close together and shut just as the song draws to a close.
The bird with predominant midnight blue feathered plumage, with highlights in dove grey and white to tailfeather and head, moving black beak, head, tailfeather and whole body from side-to-side to continuous birdsong on gilt column perch with a single broad sprig of silk flowers in white, each of the six doors around him with Havana-sized pockets also in gilt metal, pressed with star-and-stitch detail and shaped apron profile to top, intermediate columns with fluted detail and plain capitals, finial top and domed mast in red lacquer of very deep maroon hue, each door exterior with subtle curved form and bearting the Reuge trademark stylistically modelled lyre and cymbal bosses, gilt waist above further red lacquered base and opposing ribbon-tied vine appliqués before dot-pressed frieze, on three turned feet, captive winding key and whistle chamber soundhole to underside.
size - 12.1/2in. high, 6.1/4in. wide at base, (31.8 x 15.8cm)
Point of interest -
The traditional pattern of a musical cigar dispenser can be seen clearly with this rare offering by Reuge. Their later patterns consisted of an onion-shaped top with mainly coloured glass panels or sometimes polished veneers. This early model by Reuge incorporates a pure taste of the past, down to the proportions and offering a nice surprise when the bird is finally visible.
Another reminder of how a maker goes to great lengths to captivate an audience through the power of magic.
Few of these were produced and are highly sought after by the contemporary musical box and singing bird collector.