Antique Tortoiseshell and yellow metal singing bird box, by Bontems


 

A rare antique tortoiseshell and yellow metal singing bird box, by Bontems,

 

Circa 1880

 

Going-barrel movement

 

Our star-spangled winner...

 

When wound and actuated by sliding button to the right, the bird instantly emerges, rising through shaped and tooled gilt grille, moving bone beak, wings, tailfeather and body from side-to-side to continuous synchronised birdsong.

The bird with good layered feathered plumage in dark green, dark blue, clipper blue, turquoise and red hues, complimented by banded iridescent electric green highlights, highly polished lid interior for bird reflection, wide chased border, in tortoiseshell case with the bird lid bearing engraved love birds within leaf arch, main lid with fine repeating star matrix comprising 143 individually inset yellow metal stars to the slight-domed ground, hidden key compartment to rear, and start/stop to front-right.

 

4in. wide, 2.3/4in. deep, 1/1/2in. high - (10.2 x 7 x 3.8cm)

 

Point of interest -

Bontems have done it again - the star matrix is one feature seen on just a small handful of bird boxes in the world.  The process was difficult, as each star has to be heated well before being placed into half-tooled holes to the lid top.  The heat of the metal then melted the tortoiseshell and with some pressure and time to cool, each star seamlessly became part of the case with no gap between these different materials.   The failure rate must have been high, let alone the time involved to undertake this feat.

 

 

 

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Antique Tortoiseshell and yellow metal singing bird box, by Bontems
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Antique Tortoiseshell and yellow metal singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Tortoiseshell and yellow metal singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Tortoiseshell and yellow metal singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Tortoiseshell and yellow metal singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Tortoiseshell and yellow metal singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Tortoiseshell and yellow metal singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Tortoiseshell and yellow metal singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Tortoiseshell and yellow metal singing bird box, by BontemsAntique Tortoiseshell and yellow metal singing bird box, by Bontems
 
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