Lot: 10. Very Rare French Singing Double-Bird Box,Attributed to Blaise Bontems
4 1/2" (11 cm.) x 3 1/2". Encased in an extremely ornate,bombe-contoured,cast copper case with gilt finish and tooled and engraved with numerous designs,including a detailed miniature engraving of an outdoor setting on the base featuring a waltzing couple and signed "Faucherre,sc". The box is presented in its original rosewood case with mother-of-pearl designs and burgundy silk lining.Movement and Music. When the box is wound at its underside by a separate key,the lid opens and two feathered friends very actively turn side-to-side,their wings and tails fluttering,their beaks a-twitter as a delightful birdsong emerges. The mainspring is larger than on single-bird boxes in order to accommodate the duo,yet of an ingeniously compact design. There is a double pump and reservoir bellows,a short,cylinder-type slide whistle and eight,finely cut,shifting cams in a cluster,along with two additional cams that control the turning of each bird side-to-side. There are ten animations. Attributed to Blaise Bontems,Paris,circa 1890. This very rare double-bird box served as the color,cover piece for Mechanical Music,the Journal of the Musical Box Society,International in August 1996 and it accompanied the reprint of a 1928 piece on Singing Birds written by Alfred Chapuis and Edouard Gelis.
Realized Price: 12500
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