A antique tortoiseshell and gilt metal singing bird box, by Bontems,
Serial number 550,
Hidden musical instrument trophy within...
When wound and start/stop slide moved to the right, the bird emerges through square tooled and pierced gilt grille featuring musical instruments and flower heads, moving bone beak, wings and body to continuous synchronised birdsong.
The bird with geometrically laid feathered plumage in two-tone green, black and red, petit two-tone blue to bib and iridescent highlights in green, red and gold, polished lid interior, the gilt metal lid top highly polished with fine chevron laurel leaf border in noir tortoiseshell case with the main top of thinner cut to allow subtle movement show-through, hidden key compartment to rear.
3.7/8in. wide, 2.5/8in. deep, 1.3/8in. high - (9.8 x 6.6 x 3.5cm)
Point of interest -
Bontems put plenty of surprises in their wares. Here, the grille is highlighted by a small musical instrument ensemble trophy, cleverly tooled to blend in within the scrolls, flowers and leaves chased around the pierced plate. You have to look very carefully to see it. And of course with tortoiseshell, every case is different in tone and colour, making, in addition to this musical symbol feature, each piece unique.