An antique tortoiseshell, silver and gilt metal singing bird box, by Raymy,
The fourth singing bird box made by Raymy,
Serial Number 4
French, circa 1910
Geneva's prestigious flight of fancy...
When wound and the start/stop button slid to the right, the finely engraved silver lid opens and the bird majestically appears before your eyes and begins at once to move its polished metal beak, flapping its wings and turning its whole body from side-to-side synchronised to the continuous birdsong, coming to a close when the bird pops down as the lid shuts to complete the performance.
The movement stamped to bottom plate LM.G. No. 4 GENÉVE SIVAN BSGDG. The song running cam lever rods and pitch paddle in addition to most linkage screws have a wonderful blued finish.
The bird with fabulous pastel-hue coloured feathered plumage, with particular attention paid to red, lagoon blue and dark green, accentuated perfectly with the use of green iridescent highlights. It rises through the pressed and chased gilt grille, there is a good matt gilt finish to the lid interior, the bird lid top with a superb geometric matrix of ribbon scrolls, flowers and twine trails engraved with much detail and incising to achieve a naturalistic texture. It is bordered by the gilt shaped oval frame with flowerheads and reeded band in relief.
The tortoiseshell case with superb tonal and evenly spread areas of light to include brief yet satisfying glimpses of the movement.
The gilt start/stop button of restrained profile and there is a hidden key compartment to rear.
Size - 4in. wide, 2.5/8in. deep, 1.3/8in. high - (10.2 x 6.6 x 3.5cm)
Point of interest -
Seen here for the first time on the international market is this creation from Raymy. A late Bontems associate and a big player in the successful appearance of the OMM and Griesbaum manufacturing companies, his solo start in Geneva was met with much acclaim.
Praised with perfecting the endless design to be mounted at the rear of the movement making its drive path far more efficient than the previously known pattern, his very early design work shows his transition from that design with his new improved layout.
Only a handful of singing bird box movements which carry his name bare the old design layout. This is not only one of those handfuls, but is clearly stamped with serial number 4.
The attention used to blue-burnish all metal linkage pivots, paddle, running cam lever and most of the screws in the movement point towards a maker who was most proud of the creation and the refined design. Raymy's passion for improving and evolving the singing bird is noted as being one of the best efforts in this sectors' history. And long may that passion continue to grow...