An antique gilt metal and pictorial enamel singing bird box, by John Manger
When wound and the start/stop slide to front-right actuated, the bird lid opens as bird rises up through the grille to perform, by opening and closing bone beak, bobbing tailferather, flapping both wings, whilst arcing body, before twisting and dropping down through the grille as the lid closes, performing trill as it does so.
The bird with typical deep-shaped wings in black, turquoise and dark blue bib, red back and head with lime green streak flash, grille of fine detail pierced and chased to Rococo taste, lid interior with a delightful study of wild woodland flowers on soft pastel blue enamel ground, lid top with a scene of a seated lady handing a small floral posy to her ground-reclining man who woos her with attention, within a country meadow, plain gilt surround.
In the gilt metal case, fully chased with exotic fern leaves on bud-studded trails which intertwinne randomly throughout the field. Long start/stop slide to front-right, underside with repeating wave-line ground with an oval plain cartouche. Stepped rounded corners each with beanstalk risers. Hidden key compartment at rear.
Size - 3.3/4in. wide, 1.1/2in. high, 2.3/8in. deep - (9.5 x 4 x 6cm)
Point of Interest -
Very interesting to see the unique movement design of Manger boxes. The method of raising the bird 90-degrees is done completely differently on this design, with the mech start lever being joined by the lid opening lever with a pivot, not by a push-cam. Resembling the pivot on a pair of scissors, this action automatically expands to reach the sprung bird-up rod, so the timing of each of these three actions is precise and self-correcting with no adjustment tags needed. This simple method, although using one more key compontant, is unique to Manger movements and certainly a major refinement upon avid differing movement comparisons.