Lot 9
  • 9

Swiss

Estimate
20,000 - 30,000 USD
Sold
25,000 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • A VERY FINE AND RARE GOLD AND TORTOISESHELL MUSICAL SNUFF BOX PLAYING TWO TUNES INCLUDING 'GOD SAVE THE KING'
    CIRCA 1820

  • Gold, tortoiseshell
• the barrel signed Bruguier--London, playing two tunes • tortoiseshell rectangular box with lid inset with a gold repoussé scene depicting a music party in rococo surround executed in mid-18th century manner, glazed cover bordered by scrolling gold foliate design • the box fitted with start/stop button and a tune change button • accompanied by Desoutter presentation box

Catalogue Note

Charles-Abraham, son of établisseur Jacques-François Bruguier, was born in Geneva in 1788 and trained as a clockmaker, moving to London  in 1815. He returned to Geneva in 1823, when he began to make singing bird boxes. Although famed for his singing birds, he is virtually unknown as the maker of music boxes. What is known is that he took time between 1833 and 1837 to work at a musical box factory near Montbéliard. See Sharon & Christian Bailly, Oiseaux de Bonheur, Geneva, 2001, pp. 262-294, for a biography of the Bruguier family and illustrations of their works.

The present box was possibly made as a commission to celebrate the coronation of King George IV, who was crowned in 1821. The coronation was the first in England since George III's crowning in 1760.The coronation of George IV was an extravagant affair, costing £243,000, equivalent to approximately £19,000,000 in 2012. Given the magnitude of the event, it was said to have been a boon for the luxury trade in England.

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