Antique singing bird box by Rochat in tortoiseshell , enamel and silver gilt.

Antique singing bird box by Rochat in tortoiseshell , enamel and silver gilt.
An early Rochat singing bird box with fusee automaton 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 snow covered mountains in the background, with a river and bridge in the forground leading to an Alpine village. 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, 3/opens and shuts his ivory beak and finally 4/ pirouettes left and right. On completion of his 18 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. The enamel to the lid is perfect on both sides and the tortoiseshell case is also in perfect condition. The case is quite a bit smaller than the Charles Bruguier tortoiseshell cased fusee singing bird boxes at 3.625 inches wide by 2.375 inches deep and 1 inch high ( 9.1cms by 5.9 cms by 2.5 cms). This box comes with aquatint of original purchaser William Barnard of USA who brought it back from Europe for his wife. Swwiss circa 1830.

Stock Number: 4789

Price: SOLD

Availability: SOLD

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