A fine tortoiseshell and pictorial enamel singing bird box, by Bontems, circa 1875

A fine tortoiseshell and pictorial enamel singing bird box, by Bontems,
circa 1875
Going-barrel movement
The hills are alive with the sound of birdsong...
When wound and the finely engraved domed start/stop button slid to the right, the bird suddenly emerges from beneath the pierced and chased gilt grille, moving metal beak, bobbing tailfeather, wings and body from side-to-side.
The bird with softly banded feathered plumage in brown, two-tone blue and mustard yellow, beautifully interlaced iridescent highlights in a wide range of pastel shades including green and red, grille with double laurel leaf engraved border, bird lid interior with full frame painted enamel study of a circular spray of flowers against electric blue ground, the lid top with delicate and atmospheric painted enamel view of a lakeside settlement with tunnel, viaduct crossing to the church, tree-lined hills to either side of the huge snow-capped mountain to the centre, in plain highly polished tortoiseshell case with hidden key compartment to rear.
Point of interest -
Tortoiseshell singing bird boxes are unique to each other.  That is why at Douglas Fisher, we have a large selection with some bearing enamel lids, others with engraved lids, some with picture views to the top, to a few with an engraved start/stop button.  Not one tortoiseshell box is exactly the same as another and so if looking for a nice example of a piece which provides a visual delight as well as an audible surprise, look no further.
STOCK No1426
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