A very fine antique gilt bronze singing bird box, most certainly by Bontems,
When wound and the plain lozenge start/stop bar actuated, the bird with superb delicately layered feathered plumage in pastel blues, brown, red, turquoise, red and plum hues moves bone beak, flaps both wings, bobs tailfeather and turns entire body from side-to-side to the perfectly continuous synchronised birdsong.
Rising on command through the very finely pierced and chased gilt grille with bird-form seamless centre, matt-finished lid interior, in the exceptional tooled case.
The bird lid top with flaming torch and quiver trophy crest, main lid top with a pair of floral swags on repeating peaked ground, border and corners with the most fine mitre and swept fan friezes of slight indent profile, the sides with the repeating theme and the corners with the eye-catching highlight of split daisy-head rondo bosses, plain polished top and lower edge bands.
Complete with key and in the original blue leather covered travelling case with moulded edges.
Size - 4.1/2in. (11.5cm) wide.
Point of Interest -
Gilt metal and gilt bronze singing bird boxes from both Bontems and Margerat are always a joy to see. Not simply for the attention to detail seen technically within, with their superbly reliable movements, but given that the best tools-people and engravers seemed to play a vital part in these firms' success - both at the time and now, with collectors seeking the best examples which survive.
The design seen to this extraordinary case, takes the eye straight to the corners. These large circular bosses with slight concave profile, provide another dimension to what would otherwise be a strong plain upright structural part of the casement. Shading, highlights and micro details such as leaves and flower buds, are all seen thanks to the masterful use of tools, expertly handled.
One of the most stunning boxes to come to light for a while, its condition has been preserved by the original travelling case. Enjoy.