Fusée Swiss Silver Singing Bird Box, by Frères Rochat

The renowned Frères Rochat created this extremely scarce, early Swiss automaton singing bird box. Housed in a stunning silver and enamel case, this model is particularly rare because of its incredible fusée movement, which allows the tiny automaton bird within to move not only its beak, but also its head and wings as it chirps his delightful song. The earliest bird boxes were fusée, or chain driven, which meant they played longer and clearer than later models. Few boasted as complex a movement as this example

 

 

Singing bird boxes such as this example boast some of the most complicated movements of all automata. The earliest bird boxes were fusée, or chain driven, which meant they played longer and clearer than later models. Few boasted as complex a movement as this example, which is composed of hundreds of complicated moving parts within the diminutive case. A painstaking and costly process was required to create just one of these elaborately ornamented treasures, and each was wonderfully unique. Bird boxes exhibiting this superior level of detail and design are extremely rare today, especially those in such excellent, working condition.

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