6th Jul, 2016 10:00

Antique, Design, Contemporary

Lot 292

A French ormolu singing bird automaton mantel clock attributed to Bontems, circa 1875, the 9.5 inch dial with chapter ring of Roman numeral enamel cabochons with exposed escapement within a drum case, raised on a rectangular glazed case with a single bird automaton with brightly coloured plumage moving head, beak and tail in a naturalistic setting with painted scene to the back on a rectangular base containing the separate automaton mechanism causing the bird to sing while moving, the drum movement stamped to the back plate 'H & F Paris, 3772 72' the clock 49cm high, 22cm wide, 16cm deep NOTE: The Bontems firm produced a series of singing bird clocks, including a special commission for the Czarina of Russia, the firm is listed in the Paris Directories from 1849 and in 1851 displayed a bronze clock with singing birds at the Great Exhibition, in the same year Automata clocks were advertised at 18 francs against a price of 12 francs for a standard singing bird group. Literature: See Christian Balley (1987), Automata, the Golden Age 1848-1914 page 61. Andrea Robertson (1992) Museum of Automata (catalogue), page 47

Sold for £8,000


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