A rare antique silver and finely painted sarcophagus-form wooden singing bird box, by Juvenia,
Movement by E. Flajoulot
Serial number 1254
When wound and the silver start/stop slide moved to the right, the bird appears through smartly pressed and pierced silver grille, moving polished metal beak, wings, bobbing tailfeather and turning body from side-to-side to continuous synchronised birdsong.
The bird with delicate chevron-banded feathered plumage in dark green and brown tones, accentuated by flashes of gold, red and iridescent green highlights, lid interior with highly unusual and finely executed painted study of two doves in flight against clouded sky, bird lid top with a young boy and a girl upon miniature two wheeled wagon pulled by their beloved spaniel, laden with flowers behind, within a clearing in woodland, gilt border and framed by silvered petit baullé surround, main lid with painted floral spray spandrels, divided by gilt and dark blue matrix compass points, silver edge beading with ridged profile, shaped sides featuring further floral trails and swags with gilt scrolls, underside with gilt frame, all on the trademark Juvenia turquoise painted ground, in period traveling case and key.
4in. wide, 2.5/8in. deep, 1.1/2in. high - (10 x 6.5 x 4cm)
Point of interest -
The last Juvenia singing bird box Douglas-Fisher handled, only stayed with us for a few weeks, and we could certainly see why. A thin preparation of their base colour, turquoise, before the master painters got to work on all the flowers makes these most pleasing to the eye.
Using the very reliable Flajoulot movement with the highly efficient centrifuge governor, the number on the movement is 1254 - just six numbers away from the glorious example illustrated in G. T. Mayson's book Mechanical Singing Bird Tabatiéres on pages 139 and 140 (number on that 1248).
All the return and tension springs in Flajoulot movements are super-tempered meaning that hardly any loose power or slip out of tolerance over many years. A super example of a reliable and design-perfect singing bird box.