A very fine silver gilt and enamel singing bird box with timepiece, by C. H. Marguerat,
Bird movement serial number 724
Timepiece serial number 228
A radial enamel masterpiece...
When wound and start/stop slide moved to the right, the bird appears through pressed and pierced gilt grille, moving painted metal beak, wings, tailfeather and body from side-to-side to continuous birdsong.
The bird with green, deep purple and oxide red feathered plumage, iridescent highlights in green and gold, gilt grille with flowerhead detail and highly polished lid interior for full bird reflection, bird lid top with outstanding radial highlighted engined turned pictorial enamel of a lake beside folly gate with a pair of swans before tall mature trees in autumnal colours, circular column faced folly beyond and sweeping lawn to tree lined horizon under sunlit ray sky repeated to lake water as its reflection, triple leaf wreath tooled border with stitched ribbon cross-ties, main lid with extremely fine full radial sunburst engine turned mustard enamel, shaped pine cone corners with repeated triple leaf swag tooled edges, front with squat oval powdered silver dial with Western Arabic numerals, blued hands, twin laurel leaf border surmounting domed beveled dial glass, to tri-point and wave-line tooled ground, repeated to sides and rear, winding/set crown to front underside, underside with full marks, numbers and paired wave-line tooled ground.
4in. wide, 2.3/4in. deep, 1.5/8in. high - (10.2 x 7 x 4.2cm)
Point of interest -
One of the most prized singing bird boxes by Marguerat, the enamel highlighted work through clever engine turning is at a level which would be very hard to undertake today.
The sky and water lightens and darkens when the box is rotated slightly and close up, the radial sunburst effect which was a great influence of the 1920s and 30s Art Deco movement plays it vital role with magnificence.
To complete the magic, the main lid also has this radial work which takes the viewer on a visual journey through deep mustard to bright Florentine gold.
Marguerat movements run slightly quieter than other like-aged examples by other makers, principally due to the effort of using two shaped card spacers between the base of the case and the bottom plate of the movement. This cushioning also protects against metal rub should the chassis screws work loose. And in true Marguerat style, the inside-faced card bears the famous Marguerat name and workshop address stamp in blue. The original cards as crisp today as they were when they were cut in the factory.
A model must-have for the connoisseur.