This extremely rare, early Swiss fusée singing bird box by the renowned Charles Bruguier combines exquisite artistry with outstanding mechanical craftsmanship. The earliest bird boxes were fusée, 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 of only 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 silver, the case is beautifully chased and intricately hand-painted with a vibrant enamel design. 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 rising from a pierced silver stage. As it chirps its enchanting song, the tiny bird moves not only its beak but also its head and wings while turning from side to side. Overall, the detailing of the craftsmanship is remarkable, from the intricately enameled pastoral scenes 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. 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.
This bird box is housed in its original fitted case.
4 1/8" wide x 3" deep x 2" highClick here to view a video of this item.