CANVASES, CARATS AND CURIOSITIES

Frères Rochat Tortoiseshell Singing Bird Box

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This exceptionally rare Swiss automaton singing bird box was crafted by the renowned Frères Rochat. The model is set apart by its incredible fusée movement, which allows the tiny automaton bird within to move not only its beak, but also its head and wings as it chirps his delightful song. With just the touch of a button, the top opens to reveal the singing bird with colorful plumage rising from a pierced gilt stage. Its complex fusée, or chain-driven, movement allows the charming piece to play far longer and clearer than later models, which makes early bird boxes particularly prized. Few boasted as complex a movement as this example by Frères Rochat.

 

 

The original three Rochat brothers established the firm of Frères Rochat in Geneva in 1813. Masterful technicians, they quickly became famous for perfecting highly complicated singing bird mechanisms, which they placed in decorative boxes, cages, and even mirrors. Bringing together a luxurious tortoiseshell case and an exceedingly intricate movement, this bird box is the perfect example of Frères Rochat's coveted mechanical objets d'art.

 

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