Singing Bird

SOLD Singing Bird in a gilded cage. Bontems, Paris, c.1910. 45cm tall.

The key wound clockwork mechanism brings the bird to life with movement of the head, tail and beak. The beak opens and  closes in perfect time with the birdsong. The square gilded wooden base is raised on small bun feet has curved corners and decorative carved panels. The yellow feathered bird stands on a gilded perch covered in silk foliage above a red velvet base. The mechanism has been restored and the bird sings beautifully. This is a large size Bontems singing bird standing 45cm (18 inches) tall and 22cm square (8.5 inches).

The gilded base is full of character and has signs of many years of happy use. There are  chips, cracks and some losses of gesso to the pediments,  some gold overpainting to base and cage which is not garishly bright but a ‘rich’ deep gold of subtle tone . The bird and foliage are protected by the cage and are in excellent condition. The general ‘feel’ of the automaton is pleasing and very atmospheric showing the marks of age and use. More ‘Country House’ than ‘Gilded Palace’.

Inside the base was found the label of the last restoration in 1964 carried out by the well known London purveyor of Musical Automata Mr Samuel Sunley


Price: SOLD

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