A fine silver-gilt and enamel oiseau chantant with timepiece, by Charles Bruguier, circa 1848,
Lot 42
A fine silver-gilt and enamel singing bird box with timepiece, by Charles Bruguier, circa 1848,
Sold for £15,600 (US$ 24,581) inc. premium

Lot Details
A fine silver-gilt and enamel singing bird box with timepiece, by Charles Bruguier,
circa 1848,
No. 294, the fusee movement with eight-cam stack for the birdsong in 1-1-2-2-3-3-4 sequence, 40 stamped to mainspring plate but usual signature omitted on spring loafer, small faint C. Bruguier á Geneve on bellow plate instead, repeated to main lid interior, the bird with feathered plumage in a multitude of colours including brown, light and dark greens, red, turquoise and electric blue, iridescent highlights in bright orange and green, moving bone beak, head, wings, body and tailfeather, rising through finely pierced and chased gilt grille, the lid interior with floral spray on Wedgewood-blue ground, the lid top with a painted enamel scene of a broad lake, the Alps stretching beyond, waterfall on the far side and figures greeting with a dog under a tall tree in the foreground beside a country chalet,, small shaped border, the timepiece to the front with the circular white enamel dial bearing Roman numerals and open chapter ring, winding and hands spindles through hinged panel, opening to reveal the movement plate with blued screws, in heavily chased but un-enamelled case, shaped corners, decorated with intertwining leaves, flowers and shoots to the stylised Greek-key edge, simplistic ivy wreath to underside, start button front-right - 3.3/4in. (9.5cm) wide

Footnotes

  • It is hard to imagine this piece not being enamelled, until one examines the very busy chasing throughout the case. This case appears to have been designed, just like other C. Bruguier singing bird boxes from the same period, with a covering of enamel in the infils to all sides.
    However, this case shows no sign of having been enamelled. The chasing throughout has had additional tooling detail which would not have been done under the enamelwork.

    This piece is therefore being treated as a possible commission example.
Auction information

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