Singing bird box by Rochat in tortoiseshell, enamel and gold, fusee movement no. 160.

A very early Rochat singing bird box with fusee automaton movement numbered 160 and with deeply stamped three tulip mark in the top plate of the movement. The tortoiseshell case with hinged snuff ( or key) compartment to the rear of the box. The gold lid is finely hand painted in enamel with an excellent alpine scene with a mountain in the background, a lake in the forground and a Swiss chalet in pasture to the right. The bezel surrounding the grille through which the bird pops up and down is also of gold. The underside of the lid is also beautifully painted with a posie of flowers on a blue ground. The bird, typically for Rochat, is of a large size for a singing bird box and the grille is typical of Rochat's work rather than Bruguier's. The key wound chain driven fusee movement working the bellows & driving multiple cams that on sliding the operating lever to the front, the lid opens and the bird pops up, sings its head off and 1/ turns its head from left to right, 2/ flaps the wings and finally 3/ pirouettes left and right. On completion of his 20 second performance he drops through the superbly pierced silver gilt grille and the lid closes after him. All fusee movements allow the bird a longer performance than the later spring barrel movements but more importantly one extra manipulation, the movement of the head from left to right. This movement according to my restorer has hardly ever been used in its long life. As number 160 it is one of the earliest recorded Rochat movements and was almost certainly completed in the first year of business in 1818/19. The case is somewhat smaller than the Charles Bruguier tortoiseshell cased fusee singing bird boxes at 3.75 inches wide by 2.5 inches deep and 1 inch high ( 9.375 cms by 6.25 cms by 2.5 cms).

Stock Number: 4121

Origin: Switzerland

Price: SOLD

Availability: SOLD

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