A fine silver-gilt singing bird box, by Karl Griesbaum,
Early example of the Model 10
exported to England in 1924,
Retailed by P & M,
In full flourish within the glorious country...
When wound and the bird-form start/stop button actuated, the bird lid opens as the bird beneath hones into view, flapping wings, opening beak, bobbing tail feather and turning whole body from side to side, synchronised to the continuous birdsong.
The bird with very detailed layered iridescent plumage in red, blue and green, on delicate dark green and dark brown matt feathered plumage, polished metal beak, rising through finely pierced and chased gilt grille with bird-form centrum, lid interior capturing a glimpse of the inverted relief on the top of the lid.
The silver-gilt case, hallmarked with the Sterling 925 mark, retailer's mark for P & M, import mark and date letter [i], marked to bird lid, main lid and base. All cast and engraved in detail to all sides including full underside with figures, trees, dwellings and animals, with much concentration on the leisures and pleasures of country life set in the late 19th century, spread-wing start/stop button front-right and the slight domed bird lid with the eye focussing on the birds in cage, being released by a figure in a hat with a watching audience.
In the original first retailer's green leatherette travelling case, with the interior bearing paper label with printed operating instructions in English, inset shape for the bird-form key within cream velvet lined boards.
Point of Interest -
The model 10 seen as our stock number 1537 is yet another opportunity to view the same model number produced by the same maker, but crafted in a subtly different manner. As no two singing bird boxes are exactly the same, the theme for the other example concentrates on the scenery and life of Dutch country folk and with the start/stop being the bird in flight. Here, the focus is on the realism of general country life in Europe, with drinking, entertaining and farming. With the eye usually set upon the virtues of majestically formed perfection in decoration, tooled forms of scrolls and flowers, it is sometimes very comforting that a view to everyday life was captured and honed in on. Although this was not for the everyday purchaser. For the wealthy and privileged and rich, this first retailer would have had a ticket price to suit the first owner's finery from the very beginning.
A lovely example of a rare subject captured within the realms of a rare model from Karl Griesbaum.