An exquisite and rich silver gilt, enamel, pearl and noir garnet-mounted singing bird box
by Karl Griesbaum,
Model number 11
When wound and actuated by the start/stop bird-form pull to the right-hand side of case, the bird suddenly and proudly appears rising through thepierced and tooled gilt grille decorated with scrolls and palms. The bird has a moving metal beak, flaps his wings and moves his body from side-to-side to continuous synchronised birdsong.
Our fine feathered plumaged bird with tones of base dark brown, upon which yellow and red stripes blend delicately with the iridescent green to bib and wings.
The radial burst tooled lid interior with central flowerhead, the deep lid skirt also tooled with wave-line decoration, in the large imposing yet beautifully proportioned casket case with the lid top in basket-weave engine turned finish below the deep dark blood red enamel. The central quatrefoil matrix of daisy heads surrounded by pearl clusters and open leaf unions, the main top and all sides with the enamel repeated in full width rectangular panels each with tooled gilt metal leaf spandrels and twinned pearls. The edge bands with extremely fine tooling of swags and leaf curls as a full revolutionary frieze, on the Model 11 slanted base with drawer to front centre to hold key. Tooled decoration to interior and outer runners and underside, front and case sides with further scroll appliqués in rich gilt embellished with large Cushion and Old Mine-cut garnets each with slight oval mounts. Open fret corners of stylised leaves with Rococo C scroll pairs to centre, above petit mounted pearls to slim base plinth and wide shell scroll feet, the underside with dark red velvet and pierced key surround, flowerhead screw tips to finish, further hidden decoration seen once drawer removed.
Point of interest -
Douglas-Fisher are proud to present not just this fine example of the most extravagant of Griesbaum models, but also remind the current viewer of this piece to see the other 'brother' of this box, in blue and white enamel.
The Model 11 is textured in detail, refined in appearance and a showstopper at the very least. Just absorb that tooled detail and the clever cuts to the garnets. The deep blood red is the perfect hue to use against the richness of the gold, not forgetting the occasional shine from the pearls as one admires this market-dedicated piece. You will see something new in the detail time and time again, the closer you look.
Griesbaum chose their materials wisely and for very good reason.