Antique Gilt metal singing bird box, by Bontems


 

A fine antique gilt metal singing bird box, by Bontems
 
Circa 1865,
 
Going-barrel movement,
 
Serial number 930,
 
As crisp as it was made, as richly coloured as gold...
 
When wound and the start/stop slide moved to the right, the bird appears by rising through pierced and chased gilt grille, moving metal beak, wings and body from side-to-side turning almost a complete revolution.
The bird with multi-coloured feathered plumage with predominant hues of red, dark blue and orange, delicate green iridescent highlights, matt polished lid interior, double narrow tooled laurel leaf border, in smartly tooled gilt case with the bird lid having crest scrollcartouche, main lid with complimenting geometric field of roses and trailing swags within shaped rectangular frame, intermediate wave-line ground and finished with mitre-capped frieze edge, all sides with flowers in urns with half leaf spandrels on herring bone line ground, repeated in full to underside, hidden key compartment to rear.
 
3.3/4in. wide, 2.1/2in. deep, 1.5/8in. high - (9.5 x 6.4 x 4.2cm)
 
Point of interest -
 
Most birds turn their body through about 160-170 degress, finishing facing to the left so it lines up with the grille when the lid closes and the movement comes to a stop.  Here, the bird is very lively and when turning, almost clears 300 degrees.  This is made possible by the abnormaly long rack and pinion componants which turn the bird that little but further. 

 

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Antique Gilt metal singing bird box, by Bontems
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Antique Gilt metal singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Gilt metal singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Gilt metal singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Gilt metal singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Gilt metal singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Gilt metal singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Gilt metal singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Gilt metal singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Gilt metal singing bird box, by Bontems
 
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