A fine Sterling marked silver-gilt and enamel singing bird box, by Karl Griesbaum (Raymy)
model number 7B,
Serial number 588,
The ultimate enamelled Griesbaum...
When wound and with the bird-form start/stop slide moved to the right, the bird appears through Rococo scroll cast brass grille and moving bone beak, wings, tailfeather and body from side-to-side to continuous synchronised birdsong.
The bird with alternating black and orange feathered plumage, generous speckled bright green iridescent highlights, and matt polished lid interior, in the much-prized late Model 7B case, with domed bird lid bearing painted enamel study of a courting couple being entertained in the grounds of a tower house by six dancing figures in late 18th century dress to the main lid, saw-tooth tooled edge to white enamel infil border, the front and all sides with multiple geometrically arranged engine-turned enamel panels in red, flanked by green, white and turquoise lozenges all with intermediate silverwork, below arched blue and white pelmet with repeating starcentre, around central pair of blue-tits resting on floral spray on cream enamel ground, fan corner decoration to front and rear, diamond-centred panels to both sides with white enamel boss, corners with elongated diamond on black enamel, underside with simplistic dot-frame border, bird-form start/stop button to front-right.
4in. wide, 2.3/4in. deep, 1.3/4in. high - (10.2 x 7 x 4.5cm)
Point of interest -
This model always appears with slight differences between individual examples. Sometimes based around two colours, here, dealing with five, before the pictorial enamel. It is interesting to examine the enamel thinkness on Griesbaum boxes as they invariably made them with some of the thinnest grades of enamel with many firing processes involved all with a very high failure rate.
It has been claimed that some of the tooled decoration was actually completed after the enamel was fired and as there is so much going on with regards to fine detail to edges and corners, Griesbaum would certainly have had a good finishing shop, which would have contained some of the most talented people who would have been capable of that final show-off finish.