A fine vintage 3-D engine-chased gilt metal singing bird cigarette case, to the Brequet pattern, by Bontems
The style and finesse sings through...
When wound and the main lid raised to gain access to cigarette compartment, the inner enclosed singing bird lid opens and the bird starts the performance, opening and closing beak, bobbing tailfeather, flapping both wings and turning whole body from side-to-side to the continuous birdsong, coming to an end when the bird disappears and the bird lid closes. A manual start/stop slide within will also command the performance when cigarette case lid remains open.
The bird with chevron-banded feathered plumage with a predominance of the most glorious iridescence of most spectrum hues, from red to green orange to black and blue to yellow, rising through very finely pierced and tooled gilt grille with seamless centrum, movement enclosure and bird lid with stepped 3-dimensional engine chased pattern to the three-face block pattern, plain polished start/stop bar on matt polished panel and the finish also matching to main lid interior against the red silk lined cigarette void.
The main outer lid and all sides with continuing 3-dimensional chasing, plain reserved border, underside with repeating petit raised diamond-form tooled ground panel, winding hole and stamped FRANCE in the Brequet typeface, with a key and within the fitted red rexine travelling case, lined with blue velvet and cream silk.
Size - 5.1/2in. wide, 4in. deep, 1.1/2in. high - (14 x 10 x 4cm)
Exactly the same example, but stamped Brequet, was sold by Christies in 2005 ( see link )
Point of Interest -
This magnificent example is Brequet in every way, but the lack of a stamp has to be brought to attention. The typeface used for the stamp for FRANCE matches precisely the few which have appeared on the international market also marked Brequet. The chased pattern and proportions too are identical. Perhaps one which was ordered and made but never offered by Brequet?
Enough time has past to cloud the solution, but until then, admire and watch the spectacle of the singing bird model all going-barrel singing bird box collectors are out to find.