Antique Tortoiseshell and gilt metal singing bird box, by Bontems


A heightened-anomaly antique tortoiseshell and gilt metal singing bird box, by Bontems,


Circa 1880


Going-barrel movement



A twist of blue, a moment of wonder...


When wound and start/stop slide moved to the right, the bird emerges through very fine gilt filigree grille, then proceeds to move bone beak, wings, tailfeather and body from side-to-side to continuous synchronised birdsong.

The bird with dominant turquoise and pale green feathered plumage, heightened off by black head and tail, finished by red bib, matt finished lid interior, lid top with flowering trumpet with plain border incised to the gilt metal, in exceptional area scale light-anomaly case, with movement plate show-through seen in several places, hidden key compartment to rear.


3.7/8in. wide, 2.1/2in. deep, 1.1/2in. high - (9.8 x 6.4 x 3.8cm)


Point of interest -


If looking at the inside of the case with movement removed, the craftsman has shaved through the lighter areas making these pieces much thinner in depth. With the smaller areas, these have been excavated but filled with transparent tortoiseshsell composition to mellow the colour from the top.

Another good example of Bontems going that little bit further with the materials they had to hand.

STOCK No1353
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