Antique Tortoiseshell singing bird box, by Bontems


 

A good antique tortoiseshell singing bird box, by Bontems
 
Circa 1890,
 
Going-barrel movement,
 
Subtle diagonal streaks of yellow to this laurel-leaf grilled piece...
 
When wound and start/stop slide moved to the right, the bird appears through unusual laurel leaf pierced and tooled gilt grille, moving metal beak, wings and bodyfrom side-to-side to continuous synchronised birdsong.
The bird with multicoloured plumage in dark brown, royal blue and clipper blue tones, iridescent highlights of lime green and red, matt polished lid interior, the lid top with engraved decoration of bird on branch, petit baulle ring tooled border, in fine half underbelly-cut tortoiseshell case with clear anomaly factors to top, hidden key compartment at rear, engraved start/stop button front-right.
 
3.7/8in. wide, 2.3/4in. deep, 1.1/2in. high - (9.8 x 7 x 3.8cm)
 
Point of interest -
 
Some very clear anomallies seen to this case suggests the panel acquired was cut diagonally to use for the main lid.  Some minor back-dying was used but for the all important yellow streaks, one of which very proinent, this process was not required.
A superb grille showing the skills of the toolworker by cutting out all laurel leaves out of a sheet less than 2mm thick by hand.

 

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Antique Tortoiseshell singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Tortoiseshell singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Tortoiseshell singing bird box, by Bontems
 
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