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RETAILED BY PATEK PHILIPPE. A VERY FINE AND RARE TORTOISESHELL, GILT AND ENAMEL SINGING BIRD BOX WITH ORIGINAL BOX AND OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS
RETAILED BY PATEK PHILIPPE. A VERY FINE AND RARE TORTOISESHELL, GILT AND ENAMEL SINGING BIRD BOX WITH ORIGINAL BOX AND OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS
RETAILED BY PATEK PHILIPPE. A VERY FINE AND RARE TORTOISESHELL, GILT AND ENAMEL SINGING BIRD BOX WITH ORIGINAL BOX AND OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS
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RETAILED BY PATEK PHILIPPE. A VERY FINE AND RARE TORTOISESHELL, GILT AND ENAMEL SINGING BIRD BOX WITH ORIGINAL BOX AND OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS
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Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
RETAILED BY PATEK PHILIPPE. A VERY FINE AND RARE TORTOISESHELL, GILT AND ENAMEL SINGING BIRD BOX WITH ORIGINAL BOX AND OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

ATTRIBUTED TO CHARLES ABRAHAM BRUGUIER THE YOUNGER, FITTED BOX SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE & CO., GENÈVE, CIRCA 1880

Details
RETAILED BY PATEK PHILIPPE. A VERY FINE AND RARE TORTOISESHELL, GILT AND ENAMEL SINGING BIRD BOX WITH ORIGINAL BOX AND OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS
ATTRIBUTED TO CHARLES ABRAHAM BRUGUIER THE YOUNGER, FITTED BOX SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE & CO., GENÈVE, CIRCA 1880
Movement: Rectangular full-plate, chain fusée, bellows, going barrel, the lid opening for the rotating multicoloured singing bird with flapping wings, turning head and opening beak
Case: The back with hinged key compartment, the bird cover enamelled with a bouquet of flowers and two birds on a translucent ground, diam. 96 x 64 x 32 mm
With: Original Patek Philippe fitted case, instruction sheet and key
Remarks: Exceptional quality, technical marvel imitating the movements of a bird, chain fusée movement
Special notice

Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory, tortoiseshell and crocodile. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.

Brought to you by

Alexandre Bigler
Alexandre Bigler Vice President, Head of Watches, Asia Pacific

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Lot Essay

This charming singing bird box is an exquisite example of the high quality of objects produced by the most eminent craftsmen in Geneva. It is also one of the few bird boxes known that is retailed by Patek Philippe & Co. The movement, although apparently unsigned, can be attributed stylistically to the eminent maker Charles-Abraham Bruguier the younger.

Such singing bird boxes are extraordinary for the complexity of the bird song and the mechanisms which drive the automaton actions. The first automatons appeared in Geneva in the late 18th century. They were small technical marvels imitating the movements of living creatures or beings, ranging from simpler "Bras en l'Air" figures whose arms would indicate the time, to incredibly complex works of pastoral, theatrical or other scenes such as those of the present box. Some of these automata were fitted with repeating or musical mechanisms and were highly appreciated works of art, not only in Europe, but also by Chinese and Ottoman dignitaries.

Literature:
Another singing bird box with built-in clock signed Patek Philippe is in the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. That box has a mechanism which is almost identical to the present box and is attributed to Charles Abraham Bruguier the younger. See: Patek Philippe Museum Vol. I, p. 463 (Inv. P-651).

Charles-Abraham Bruguier the younger (1818-1891)
From a family of well-known singing bird makers, founded by Charles-Abraham Bruguier senior (1788-1862). Charles Abraham Bruguier the younger was born in London, where his father was working at the time. He was in Geneva in 1843 working in the Terreaux de Chantepoulet, later moving to the rue Rousseau, to the rue Sismondi and then to the rue des Pâquis, 5. Bruguier the younger manufactured singing bird boxes largely in the style of his father, as did his brother-in-law, Jacques Bruguier, and the latter's son, Jacques-Alexander. Charles-Abraham Bruguier senior developed and improved singing bird movements so that the length of the song was extended whilst at the same time slightly simplifying them to facilitate production.

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