Created by the leading craftsman for these diminutive mechanical marvels, this incredibly rare, early Swiss fuseé singing bird box was crafted by the renowned Charles Bruguier. A masterpiece combining exquisite artistry with outstanding technical prowess, this box is further distinguised by its solid gold case enveloped in sumptuous enamel.
The earliest bird boxes were fuseé, or chain driven, and are famed for playing longer and clearer than later models. Few boasted as complex a movement as this example. During Bruguier's career, he produced an average a scant 27 of these precious boxes per year. This example is among the handful of his creations known to exist in such wonderful working condition and it is considered among the rarest and finest of all bird boxes.
Crafted of gold, the case is beautifully chased and intricately hand-painted with a lush floral enamel motif. Even more remarkable than its exterior, however, is the masterpiece housed within. With just the touch of a button, the top cover opens to reveal a singing bird with colorful plumage that immediately breaks into song. As it chirps it's melodious tune, the tiny bird moves not only its beak but also its head and wings while turning from side to side. Overall, the workmanship imparted upon this box is amazing, from the beautiful enamel to the stunning iridescent hand-applied hummingbird feathers that adorn the songbird.
Singing bird boxes such as this example boast some of the most complicated movements of all automata. The earliest and most desired bird boxes sought after today contained fusée, or chain driven movements, which are known to play longer and clearer than later models. Few boasted as complex a movement as this example, which is composed of hundreds of complicated moving parts within the diminutive case. A painstaking and costly process was required to create just one of these elaborately ornamented treasures, and each was wonderfully unique. Bird boxes exhibiting this superior level of detail and design are extremely rare today, especially those in such excellent, working condition by the famed Bruguier.
This bird box is housed in its original fitted case.