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Fine silver-gilt, fully-engraved circa 1870s singing bird box with rare, "fusee" movement and the image of a violin covering the oval lid. Upon sliding a lever, a tiny blue bird, covered with hummingbird feathers, pops up, dances around, flaps its wings, moves its tail and turns its head all the while singing a very complex and realistic birdsong for approximately half a minute. These early birdboxes are a marvel of engineering and craftsmanship, utilizing a small bellows and whistle, a tiny articulated bird less than 1 inch long and eight cams to control sequentially the actions of the bird and its song. Quite possibly made by Charles Brugier, the creator of bird boxes of this kind, though any identifying marks on the bottom may have been rubbed off. 2.25 x 3.75" with almost no tarnishing of the thick, delicately engraved surface.
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