ANTIQUE SILVER & PURPLE GUILLOCHE ENAMEL SINGING BIRD BOX
Height: 1½ inches / 4 cm
Width: 4 inches / 10.1 cm
Depth: 2¼ inches / 6 cm
Stock number: GD6702/0121
A sublime antique silver and full purple radical guilloche enamel singing bird box, retailed by A. Lancel, Paris. When wound, and the pull button chain activated, the bird lid opens and bird suddenly appears, moving his polished metal beak, bobbing his tailfeather, flapping his wings and turning his body from side to side, perfectly synchronised to the continuous birdsong, coming to an end when the bird disappears as the bird lid closes sharply. The oval bird lid with sublime radial fan-wave engine turning in magnificent purple guilloche enamel with a central circular boss, the bird lid border (or bezel) also and most unusually fully enamelled with a tooled trail throughout, before covering the entire case. The main lid with the radial fan-wave engine turning with solid ribbon wave form straightening as it heads towards the outer edge. The front, sides and back with repeating vertical wave-line turning, balanced by the miniature horizontal lines for the tonal shading when the box is turned into the light. The silver highly polished to all edges, the corners with rounded corners and each one with refined acanthus leaf frieze from top to bottom. Set on all four sides atop the box are four silver mounts.
With the original retailer’s travelling case bearing the boutique title in gold script to the silk lid interior, A. Lancel of Paris and finished on the outside in dark blue leather. Stamped at various points in the silver case, including the underside and underside of the lid are silver marks, including silver content mark of 925, London sterling standard import mark and date mark 1923. It also has stamps for Austrian silver mark, content mark and makers mark, where the box would have been made before being exported.
At this time, the Austrians were renowned for making silver guilloche of the very highest standard. One of the finest and most impressive full-enamelled singing bird boxes, which has it all. Sold first by A. Lancel of Paris, who have offered luxury goods since the 1870s.