The present lot is notable given its diminutive size of 78 mm, a remarkable technical achievement given the complexity of the singing bird movement. Other examples of singing birds range in the length of 85 to 90 mm.
Salomon Chénevard (1773-1837) worked as jeweler living in the Rue de Temple, Geneva. Both Chénevard and the jeweler Jean-Louis Joly (1757-1825) had been partners of the firm Roux, Ponçon & Cie., manufacturers of bijouterie, from September 1801 until 1803. They are recorded as entering their first marks in the name of Joly & Chénevard in 1807/8. In 1815 they had taken on a younger partner, Pierre Jouvet, exemplified by their new mark, depicting ICI in a lozenge. In 1820, they re-named the firm Chénevard, Jouvet & Cie. Jouvet’s wife, Jacqueline Etienette Guidon took Joly's place on his retirement in 1824.
The firm of Frères Rochat began as David Rochat & Son in Le Brassus (1718-1806) and became famous for its complicated movements and a variety of complex novelties that included singing birds in mirrors, snuff boxes, needle cases and pistols.
For a discussion of their work see Jaquet, Eugène and Chapuis, Alfred, The Technique and History of the Swiss Watch, pp. 154-156. The firm was listed as 'Geneva makers 1810-1835’.
For a four-color gold and enamel singing bird box chased in similar style to the present box and struck with the same case maker's mark, see Sotheby’s Zurich, 14 November 1979, lot 224, as well as the Celebrated King Farouk Magicians Box, Sotheby’s New York, 8 June 2016, lot 81.
For a biography on Frères Rochat and illustrations of their work, see Bailly, Sharon & Christian, Flights of Fancy, Geneva, 2001, pp. 211-260.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale