A very fine silver-gilt and enamel singing bird box by Bruguier,  circa 1825,
Lot 31
A very fine silver-gilt and enamel singing bird box by Bruguier, circa 1820,
Sold for £24,000 (US$ 40,339) inc. premium
Lot Details
Fine Oiseaux Chantants and Musical Vertu
A very fine silver-gilt and enamel singing bird box by Bruguier,
circa 1820,
with fusée movement with large-gauge chain, the bird with fired-red, dark green, purple, turquoise and cherry-red banded feathered plumage, with iridescent lime and grass green highlights, moving bone beak, head, wings and tailfeather to outstanding 1-1-2-2-3-3-4 briefly-paused birdsong, rising through pierced and tooled gilt grille with full bird-form underplate meeting the seem, highly polished lid interior for bird reflection, flowerhead, leaf and fern-curl raised border repeated to main top edge, the lid top with painted enamel study of imposing country chateau with tower corner, a rugged track flanking tress and rocks, leading from the foreground towards large lake with a canoe afloat the calm water, step-banks below mountain peaks and dusk-hued clouded sky, in very fine silver-gilt case, the top panel with criss-cross pattern of alternate quatre-square and leaf bosses, black enamel framing ground and the lid surround with complimenting blank enamel simplistic swag on petit-point inset ground, compass-point shaped medallions each with summer floral spray, on radial tooled ground beneath green enamel, the sides with continual triple-panel key, scroll tops and bases with geometric infils of diamonds, all on basket-weave ground featuring triple and double line detail, curved corners with matching taste, and the underside with full floral display emanating from a classical urn on similar ground, framed by enlarged rococo style C scroll swags, hidden key compartment at rear, start/stop to front-right, with a key - 3.9/16in. (9cm)


  • The birdsong on this example is quite a surprise. Instead of the usual 6 or 8-part sequential melody, the first three songs are quickly repeated, followed by the fourth, longer and more colourful unrepeated finale. The tooling and enamel on the casework is at a very high level indeed and one of the best examples by Bruguier to appear to date.

Saleroom notices

  • After a close movement examination, it is signed twice and stamped No. 24. This does not feature a prefix and as such is the earliest known singing bird box of this format to appear by this maker. A photograph of this view is available.