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Swiss Enameled Singing Bird Box

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Swiss Enameled Singing Bird Box

- Item No.

Item Details

  • Width:
    4 Inches
  • Height:
    2 1/8 Inches
  • Depth:
    2 1/2 Inches
  • Period:
    19th Century
  • Origin:
    Switzerland
This splendid gold Swiss bird box is a work of mechanical wonder. Adorned with enamel and hand-painted pastoral scenes accented with engraved decoration, this exceptional music box is known as a tabatière, from the French word for tobacco, for they resemble tobacco or snuff boxes. Concealed inside is a  miniature bird, covered with colorful hummingbird feathers. When the lid is opened, the bird appears to sing a lovely tune, while moving his beak and flapping his wings. When the birdsong is complete, the tiny creature simply slips back into the box and the lid automatically closes behind it. Mechanical singing bird boxes initially appeared in the 1780s as toys for royalty and extremely wealthy noblemen. Today, these wonderful boxes continue to delight and are highly sought after by collectors. Those with such animated birds are especially desirable, as they require a much more complicated mechanism to function. Combined with painstaking and costly ornamentation, each box is wonderfully unique. 

Circa 1860

4" wide x 2 ½" deep x 2 " high

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Price: $14,850
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