Silver and gilt singing bird snuff box with enamel scenes. Circa 1840
Silver and gilt singing bird snuff box with enamel scenes. Circa 1840
Silver and gilt singing bird snuff box with enamel scenes. Circa 1840
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Silver and gilt singing bird snuff box with enamel scenes. Circa 1840
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Silver and gilt singing bird snuff box with enamel scenes. Circa 1840
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Silver and gilt singing bird snuff box with enamel scenes. Circa 1840

Silver and gilt singing bird snuff box with enamel scenes. Circa 1840

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Bruguier
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  • Brand: Bruguier
  • Circa: 1840
  • Model: Snuff box
  • Reference: N/A
  • Calibre: N/A
  • Movement: N/A
  • Material: Silver and gilt
  • Features/complications: Singing bird automation
  • Description: Snuff box decorated in typical Brugier style with shades of blue and green opaque cloisonné enamel flowers and tendrils, framing fine polychrome enamel plaques of peonies, pansies, snow drops and forget-me-not, set left and right of a central enamel idyllic Swiss Alp scene. The case edges are richly engraved with detailed engine-turning and floral patterns. Upon activating a slide located at the front, the central enamel plaque lifts up to reveal a singing bird automaton.
  • Case dimensions: 6 x 9.5 cm
  • Accessories: N/A
  • Bracelet/strap: N/A
  • Web reference: 1967

Essay: Charles Abraham Bruguier was born in Geneva in 1788 into a family of clockmakers. He married Louise-Pernette Noiret in 1814 and the following year their daughter Jacqueline was born. In June 1815, Charles-Abraham Bruguier took his family to London, where they lived several years, first in Great Marlborough Street, then in Greek Street where he worked on musical boxes and automata. The Bruguier family returned to Switzerland in 1823 and soon after Charles-Abraham started to study the making of singing bird boxes.

His son, born in 1818, also became a singing bird box maker and production of movement stamped “C. Bruguier à Geneva” followed by a three-digit number were produced until about 1850. Charles-Abraham senior continued to repair singing bird boxes up to 1861, the year before his death. Some boxes in the Bruguier style continued to be made by his son and Jacques Alexander Bruguier until about 1865.

The Bruguier family repaired all makes of singing bird boxes and their signatures is sometimes found on early boxes not made by them as a result.