|An exceptionally fine all over engraved silver gilt and hand painted enamel singing bird box, the case in the manner of Bruguier but actually by Charles Jules Bontems.
The silver gilt engraved case with canted corners, beautiful floral engraving to the top, front back and sides. A silk pattern to the base.
The back of the case has a hinged compartment for key or snuff.
The silver and hand painted enamel lid with a beautiful, perfect and unrestored scene, typical of Bruguier of Lake Geneva with boats on the lake by a Schloss and the Alps in the background.
The underside of the lid with sprays of roses on a sky blue background.
The bird is fully feathered with its original feathersand has an ivory beak.
The grille is beautifully cut and engraved.
It has a hinged snuff or key compartment at the back of the case.
On pressing the operating lever to the right the lid opens and the bird pops up through the delicately worked silver gilt pierced grille and then the key wound movement is set off working the bellows & driving cams that work the bird by 1/ opening & shutting the ivory beak, , 2/ flaps the wings, 3/ pirouettes left and right, all the time the bird sings in a lifelike way until the sequence is over and the bird stops singing, pops down beneath the grille and the lid shuts.
Stamped twice in the silver within a diamond lozenge CB with a birdcage between the C and the B.
I believe this is the mark of Charles Jules Bontems, born in 1848 and the son of Blaise Bontems. He took over the Bontems firm in about 1880.
France circa 1880-85.
1.75 inches high by 3.75 inches wide by 2.5 inches deep ( 4.375 cm by 9.375 cm by 6.25 cm).