tortoiseshell Rochat - early
Lot 32Y
A very early tortoiseshell singing bird box by Rochat, circa 1815,
Sold for £10,800 (US$ 17,648) inc. premium

Lot Details
Fine Oiseaux Chantants and Musical Vertu
A very early tortoiseshell singing bird box by Rochat,
circa 1815,
No. 160, the fine fusée movement with triple tulip stamps to base plate, double spring loafers and weighted fan governor, he large bird with predominant hues of tomato-red and turquoise, complimented by dark brown, royal blue and yellow, highlighted with iridescent green and purple feathered plumage, moving bone beak, head, wings and tailfeather to complex 1-2-3-4 sequential birdsong from eight cam-stack, rising through tooled gilt grille with the bird-form engraved underplate meeting the seem, the lid interior with painted enamel floral spray of various colours, leaves trailing behind, against power-blue ground, the lid top with finely painted study of a gigantic snow-topped mountain, with the peaks reaching towards dusk-hued cloud-crested sky, a lake with small sailing ships, before Swiss chalet on moorland flanked by hills with trees, bushes and greenery to foreground, laurel-swag border and yellow metal band, start/stop slide front-right also in yellow metal, in tortoiseshell case with hidden key compartment at rear, with period non-ratchet key - 3.3/4in. (9.5cm) wide

Footnotes

  • Very early Rochat singing bird boxes are usually seen with a locking lid mechanism - such as with the much-prized Jaquet Droz & Leschot examples. It is interesting therefore to note that the movement does feature some fitted parts for a locking lid system, however the parts that are missing were never fitted, with three holes not yet drilled. It was started and never completed.
    There have been other cases where during this 'transistional period' of locking-lid bird boxes, that boxes feature either this incomplete or altered feature, however the only obvious sign with this one is that of the yellow metal hoop, fixed to the lid interior, which plunges through the grille.
Auction information

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Y CITES

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