A luxurious vintage silver and full cream guilloche enamel singing bird box,
Retailed by Nissel & Sikora, of Austria,
Going barrel movement
The cream of the crop...
When wound and the bird-form start/stop button actuated, the magic starts immediately with the bird lid opening as bird appears, flapping both wings, opening and closing metal beak, bobbing tailfeather and turning entire body from side-to-side, perfectly synchronised to the continuous crisp and clear birdsong.
The bird with a refined poise and definition, feathered plumage with a good all-round green iridescent base, plum, red and gold bands of flash to bib and back, turquoise tip of tail, rising up through pierced tooled and chased gilt grille, lid interior entirely fielded with white enamel with a subtle pearl hue.
The case in silver with full guilloche enamel in rich cream. Bird lid top with multi wave-line detail, surround with encircling detail each with tiny silver edge, against the more pronounced wave-line ground to main lid, front, back and both sides. Corners with chased downward-leaf friezes with the gilt screws hidden towards the top, underside in plain polished silver with stamped Sterling mark. One side edge engraved by the retailer NISSEL & SIKORA KARNTNER STR. 45.
Size - 3.7/8in. wide, 2.3/8in. deep, 1.5/8in. high - (10 x 6 x 4.2cm)
Point of Interest -
Nissel & Sikora were retailers of fine silver, jewellery and accessories. Their name appears on fitted cases or as in this case, engraved directly onto the piece once offered by them. Always found on fine quality wares, their address on the Karntner Str. was and still is a premium area in central Vienna and the main high-brow shopping street in the city which as a route, dates back to the Medieval era.
By pure coincidence, we have also handled a very similar piece but in soft lilac enamel (stock 1544) which sets off a very rare opportunity to compare and admire them together.
The enamel on this box has a tone of tremendous depth. The cream has other slight tones coming through and in places where the pattern traces the light through reflection, a array of colours creep in - almost pearl-like with pinks and yellows.
The movement is one of the most precise we have handled, and the spring is very capable of performing several times before a wind is required. The synchronicity within sound and bird could not be more spot-on.
A charming singing bird box whose precise virtues of quality are displayed in their entirety.