An important silver-gilt and enamel singing bird box by Charles Bruguier, circa 1840, reputedly the former property of an Austrian nobleman,
Lot 21
An important silver-gilt and enamel singing bird box by Charles Bruguier, circa 1840, reputedly the former property of an Austrian nobleman,
Sold for £10,800 (US$ 18,142) inc. premium
Lot Details
An important silver-gilt and enamel singing bird box by Charles Bruguier,
circa 1840, reputedly the former property of an Austrian nobleman,
the fusee movement stamped 556 - C. Bruguier Á Genevé, the serial number repeated throughout the mechanism and case, the top of key compartment in case interior inscribed Annaberger XI '25, case lid verso inscribed Devant and a possible repair's mark L Z 26104, the bird with multi-coloured plumage in streaked tones of turquoise, lime green, dark blue and maroon, iridescent highlights in orange, yellow, blue and green, moving head, bone beak, wings (one needing re-feathering) and tailfeather to continuous and prolonged birdsong, rising through the chased pierced grille with simplistic flower designs, the lid interior with a formal enamel study of flowers and leaves on power blue ground, the lid top with a scene of a lake with a paddle steamer and sailing boats, a small town and snow-topped mountains beyond and red-tinted cumulus clouds, the foreground with trees and rocky shore, top hinge mount with tooled scroll overhang, point-edge detail to border, the case lid with full enamel decoration of quarter panels of floral sprays on matching power blue ground (some areas repainted on enamel loss), the vertical axis joined by large 'C' scrolls in black and the horizontal with cross-patch cushion and black lozenge bars, the whole with petit borders of white enamel geometrically formed by sharp and curved edge lines, the indent corners with arrow mitres and the shaped lid edge with clipper blue frieze with broken arrow infill, sides continuing with the floral theme of flower sprays on cat's-eye and uni-line wave decoration, cross corners, the back and front with larger and finer examples with additional tooled details, the underside with full ground of three-dimensional diamonds, tracery corner bosses and plain oval cartouche with grande-leavés surround, start/stop to front centre, concealed key compartment to rear, with period ratchet key in part-brass, in red travelling case with mauve velvet lined interior, in a slip-case in green - 3.5/8in. (9.3cm) wide

Footnotes

  • A past-owner's letter states (a copy of which accompanies the lot), in the early 1920s, a person connected to the Annaberger family needed to acquire money for food and shelter having fallen on hard times after the Great war.

    The bird song notation is very delicate and with smooth melody, compared with some Bruguier boxes that can be quite sharp.
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