This Swiss fuseé singing bird box opens at the push of a button to reveal a hand-feathered singing bird automaton. Crafted from 18K gold, the beautifully chased box was created by the renowned Charles Bruguier, who was admired both for his superb artistic and mechanical craftsmanship. During Bruguier's career, he produced an average of only 27 of these boxes each year. This model is particularly rare because the tiny bird moves not only his beak, but also his head and wings as he chirps his delightful song. It is also crafted entirely from gold, setting it apart from the majority of other examples that are crafted from gilded silver.
Singing bird boxes such as this example display some of the most complicated movements of all automata. The earliest bird boxes were fusée, or chain driven, which meant they played 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.
3 1/2" wide x 2 1/4" deep x 1 1/4" highClick here to view a video of this item.