Hidden inside this extraordinary golden egg is one of the world's best examples of automata. The 18k gold egg, laden with enamel flowers and diamond scrolls, conceals a tiny diamond-encrusted songbird. With the push of a button, the diminutive bird rises from within the egg, pivots, flaps its wings and tail, and opens its beak to sing, and then disappears again. In terms of both ingenuity and artistry, this musical egg is beyond description.
The one-of-a-kind objet d'art was inspired in part by the mechanical complexity of 19th-century Swiss automata, as well as the opulence of the legendary Fabergé eggs. The sumptuously decorated piece is formed from an astounding 900 grams of 18k yellow, rose and white gold. Inlaid with 7.40 total carats of diamonds and 139 pearls, it also features antique porcelain panels of intricately hand-painted enamel. A rare 18th-century French timepiece is set at its apex; its border of seed pearls, hand-painted porcelain dial, and silver and gold accents beautifully mimic the artistry of the whole. Resting upon a luxurious malachite base, this automaton truly represents the very finest of its genre.
The piece comes complete with its original 18k gold diamond-encrusted key.
Clock movement signed "C. Berthoud a Paris"