With Breguet, 28, Place Vendôme, Paris original fitted presentation box containing a key.
According to the Archives of Montres Breguet, the present "coffret métal ciselé et doré avec oiseau chanteur" no. B2198 was made in 1955 and sold on 27 December 1955 to M. Esteban Gay, price not known.
The present box is a fine example of one of the exceedingly rare singing bird boxes signed Breguet to appear in public. According to research, less than 30 examples of these fine pieces were produced by the celebrated house, often to special order for their distinguished clientele.
These boxes were made in two series, the first from the mid-1930s until the 1940s, the second from the mid-1950s until the 1960s, and were available in two sizes. The present box is from the smaller series without the addition of an additional drawer.
The movements were supplied by the celebrated house Bontems of Paris, renowned for their mastery, both in the authenticity of the bird song and for the mechanical skill. The superb pieces made by the different members of the Bontems family participated at the world's most renowned exhibitions where they were often awarded prizes. For an extensive biography of Bontems and various illustrations of their work see Flights of Fancy - Mechanical Singing Birds by Sharon & Christian Bailly, pp. 305 - 347.
Consigned by a descendant of the original owner, the rarity of the present box is further enhanced by its very good, original overall condition, the perfect functioning of the bird, the melodious sound of the chirping and the presence of the original box and key.
For the large version of a Breguet singing bird box, from the same private collection, see lot 281 in this auction.