A very fine sarcophagus-form silver-gilt and enamel singing bird box, by Jacques Bruguier, circa 1835,
Lot 47
A very fine sarcophagus-form silver-gilt and enamel singing bird box, by Jacques Bruguier, circa 1835,
Sold for £37,250 (US$ 59,781) inc. premium

Lot Details
A very fine sarcophagus-form silver-gilt and enamel singing bird box, by Jacques Bruguier, circa 1835,
A very fine sarcophagus-form silver-gilt and enamel singing bird box, by Jacques Bruguier,
circa 1835,
No. 220,
the fusee movement with eight cam-stack for birdsong in 1-1-2-2-3-3-4 sequence, script signature of Js Bruguier to spring loafer, stamped number beside main ratchet, the bird with geometrically-placed layered feathered plumage in hues of turquoise, lime green, dark brown, electric blue with iridescent highlights in burnt umber, purple and green, moving bone beak, head, wings and tailfeather, rising through pierced and tooled gilt grille, the lid interior with finely painted enamel of a flower spray on lagoon-blue ground, the lid top with pictorial enamel of a Chinese temple folly with walled garden beside a lake, with tower, steps to the lake flanked by rocks and trees, mountainous peaks beyond under pink-tinged clouds, flower half-boss to top and framed with wave-curl tooled border, the main lid with shaped enamel spandrels of flowers on white ground, ribbon chase infils in clipper blue, hearts in pale blue and leaf sprigs in dark green enamels, busy Rococo stylized tooled ground, repeated to the waist with wave-line bands and double laurel leaf friezes, the underside with diamond key border, oval cartouche and patterned intermediate ground, start/stop to front centre, hidden key compartment to rear, in original red leather travelling case with period ratchet key - 4.1/8in. (10.5cm) wide

Footnotes

  • Reference:
    Mechanical Singing-bird Tabatiéres, G. T. Mayson, 2000, pp. 170-71 (for same case style number.)

    Marked on inside of the case are repair's marks - W.W. 1932 and B.W. 1973.

    As a pure coincidence, Bonhams were asked in June 2011 to undertake an insurance valuation of a singing bird box by Charles Bruguier, bearing serial number 220. It is assumed that this was the first time an example by both Bruguiers were seen in the same week bearing the same serial number.
    The valuation example, which will never be sold, bears the typical mitre-shaped corners to straight rectangular case, and so very different in design.

    Note the quality of the tooling to the top of the main lid on this piece being much crisper in detail, compared to pieces made in Charles Bruguier's workshops at around the same time.
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