Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Geneva, May 14, 2017

LOT 418

BRUGUIER, ENAMEL SILVER BIRD BOX, GILT SILVER . Charles Bruguier, Rue des Pâquis 5 à Genève, No. 295, circa 1850. Fine and rare gilt silver and enamel singing bird box. Accompanied by the original winding key and a fitted box.

CHF 8,000 - 12,000

HKD 64,000 - 96,000 / USD 8,000 - 12,000


Sold: CHF 35,000

Rectangular with molded corners, florally engraved over engine-turning, top with Imperial blue enamel painted with flowers, white enamel borders, bird lid finely painted with alpine scene. Rectangular, 85 x 45 mm. brass, turned pillars, fusee and chain, rectangular bellows, bird with moving head, flapping wings, opening beak and tail, eight cams controlling the piston and the bird's beak and tail, two additional for the other movements, long duration of song with natural bird song alternating with a melody, precision cam-controlled lifting mechanism, gold grill pierced and engraved with floral pattern.

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Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 2-24

Very good

Slightly chipped

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense


Signed on the movement. DIAM. 96 x 62 mm. Charles-Abraham Bruguier was born in Geneva in1788 and died in 1862. He spent the first years of his career working for other manufacturers making automata, before returning to Geneva and establishing his own business. His workshops continued under the guidance of his two sons, followed by his grandson. Bruguier understood better than his predecessors (Jaquet-Droz, Leschot and Les Freres Rochat) the secrets of successfully recreating "bird-song", and he achieved considerable improvements in the design of the movements. To be sold without reserve