An important singing bird et carde-de-visite necessaire compendium, French movement circa 1870, gilt fittings and inlaid ebonised case for the English market,
Lot 46
An important singing bird et carde-de-visite necessaire compendium, French movement circa 1870, gilt fittings and inlaid ebonised case for the English market,
Sold for £16,800 (US$ 28,237) inc. premium
Lot Details
An important singing bird et carde-de-visite necessaire compendium,
French movement circa 1870, gilt fittings and inlaid ebonised case for the English market,
the key-wind going-barrel intermediate gauge spring motor in four-pillar plate, vertically mounted to the plain brass bedplate and main four pillar bird movement in the horizontal, twin cams for motion and birdsong, the bird with banded feathered plumage and iridescent lime green, blood orange and Royal blue highlights, moving beak, tailfeather, wings and body to complex continuous birdsong, rising through full gilt filigree grille of C scrolls and roundels, the pierced domed lid in grandè filigree with micro roundels and flowerhead centre bordered by twist scroll frieze, fitted to the centre of the fitted necessaire interior, motor board with pull beneath tray with pockets containing needle pot, scissors, de-stitcher, thimble, darning hook, six various button hooks and a pair of thread reels, raised cushion panels in three-tone blue silk, pair of cat's-eye pin cushions, finished with lace and gold braid twist edges, behind which a pair of scent bottles, each of square form with parcel gilt stars and bands, flanking wide lidded toiletry compartment, in front a pair of pale blue casket lidded compartments with leaf and stud gilt grips, flanking open silk lined and padded material pocket with rope-twist seem braid, the whole in divisions lined with ink-dyed blue paper, gold paper veneer to top edge, the main lid interior with pair of looking-glass doors within matching padded silk and lined paper recess, opening to reveal sixteen portrait photographs/carde de visite accessed by slots above, pressed gilt brass matrix framing, in highly polished ebonised serpentine case, the slight-domed top with large incised cartouche in brass and kingwood of stylised oval form with top and tail crests, outer border with intertwining helix of kingwood, palmwood and brass chasing around mother-of-pearl bars terminating with quatrefoils, inside double brass stringing, repeated to the front, winding key and start/stop twist to right-hand side, with lid key to large French format brass lock - 16in. (40.5cm) wide, 7in. (18cm) high, 11.1/2in. (29cm) deep

Footnotes

  • Reference:
    Fine Toys, Mechanical Music, Automata, Dolls and Dolls' Houses 27 October 2004, christies, lot 356
    (the last-such singing bird necessaire offered and sold in London)

    After the closure of the Bruguier workshops where the early fusee-driven signing bird movements were made, going-barrel system were seen as the cheapest and easiest way to manufacture in large quantities.
    By the time this majestic necessaire left France in circa 1870, the going-barrel system was the standard. However, in view of perhaps compensating the loss of fusee knowledge, the winding stem travels through one differential and two gears before hitting the ratchet, making this a left-turn wind motor just as one would wind a fusee box.
    Until an inspection of the motor reveals differently, one confirms this to be a fusee box when winding and when in operation.

    The attention to detail to the silk and braidwork in the fitted interior is delightful. The photographs currently housed in the carte de visite slides, all date to circa 1890.
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