Antique Tortoiseshell and pictorial enamel singing bird box, by Bontems


An excellent antique tortoiseshell and pictorial enamel singing bird box, by Bontems
Circa 1885,
Going-barrel movement,
The Geneva lake glistening in all its glory...
When wound and the start/stop slide moved to the right, the bird emerges through finely pierced and chased richly gilded grille with flowerhead detail, moving bone beak, wings and body from side-to-side.
With varying tones of green feathered plumage, made richer by further green iridescent and matt red highlights, the lid interior with a painted enamel study of a spray of flowers on turquoise ground, lid border with tooled broad laurel wreath, lid top with an outstanding study of the hexagon island on Lake Geneva, with town behind, linking bridges, in the plain tortoiseshell case with many lighter anomalies to top, hidden key compartment to rear.
3.3/4in. wide, 2.1/2in. deep, 1.1/2in. high - (9.5 x 6.4 x 3.8cm)
Point of interest -
One of the most recognisable landmarks on Lake Genevé,  this study shows it with the then newly installed gas lights on the main link bridge.  It is possible sometimes to place a set year for a study of this view, using the height of island trees and townscape buildings to shore as a size guide.  Take a good look at the painting detail - one can only guess what size the paintbrush was... 


STOCK No1329
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