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Auction archive: Lot number 61

A French giltwood and metal coin operated singing bird automaton Attributed to …

Auction 28.03.2017
28 Mar 2017
Estimate
£700 - £1,000
ca. US$864 - US$1,234
Price realised:
£1,800
ca. US$2,221
Auction archive: Lot number 61

A French giltwood and metal coin operated singing bird automaton Attributed to …

Auction 28.03.2017
28 Mar 2017
Estimate
£700 - £1,000
ca. US$864 - US$1,234
Price realised:
£1,800
ca. US$2,221
Beschreibung:

A French giltwood and metal coin operated singing bird automaton Attributed to Bontems, circa 1900 The base enclosing brass framed spring barrel movement activated by a Farthing dropping through a slot mounted above and incorporating triple cams for raise, fall and turn and double bellows driven by large spring barrel with flywheel control and latch stopwork, enabling the two taxidermy birds mounted within the cage to each in turn to move their heads, tail feathers and beaks whilst sounding multi-note calls, the exterior with stepped base incorporating coin drawer beneath leaf decorated ogee moulding, applied foliate motifs and gilt painted wire cage terminating with large ball finial fitted with suspension ring, 52cm (20.5ins) high approx. Blaise Bontems was born at Le Menil, France In 1814. He initially trained as a clockmaker but by 1849 he had moved to Paris to set business specialising in the production of musical automata. He exhibited singing birds at the 1851 Great Exhibition which, from available accounts, were life-size and in cages. Blaise Bontems died in 1893 and was succeeded by his son Charles Jules, his grandson Lucien Bontems eventually took over the business which continued until his death in 1956. Coin operated models were generally intended for use in cafes, bars and other semi-public venues. It is not known whether they were leased or purchased outright by the patrons of such establishments however they were ultimately intended to provide a modest supplementary income very much like modern day jukeboxes. Condition report disclaimer

Auction archive: Lot number 61
Auction:
Datum:
28 Mar 2017
Auction house:
Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions
16-17 Pall Mall
St James’s
London, SW1Y 5LU
United Kingdom
info@dreweatts.com
+44 (0)20 78398880
Beschreibung:

A French giltwood and metal coin operated singing bird automaton Attributed to Bontems, circa 1900 The base enclosing brass framed spring barrel movement activated by a Farthing dropping through a slot mounted above and incorporating triple cams for raise, fall and turn and double bellows driven by large spring barrel with flywheel control and latch stopwork, enabling the two taxidermy birds mounted within the cage to each in turn to move their heads, tail feathers and beaks whilst sounding multi-note calls, the exterior with stepped base incorporating coin drawer beneath leaf decorated ogee moulding, applied foliate motifs and gilt painted wire cage terminating with large ball finial fitted with suspension ring, 52cm (20.5ins) high approx. Blaise Bontems was born at Le Menil, France In 1814. He initially trained as a clockmaker but by 1849 he had moved to Paris to set business specialising in the production of musical automata. He exhibited singing birds at the 1851 Great Exhibition which, from available accounts, were life-size and in cages. Blaise Bontems died in 1893 and was succeeded by his son Charles Jules, his grandson Lucien Bontems eventually took over the business which continued until his death in 1956. Coin operated models were generally intended for use in cafes, bars and other semi-public venues. It is not known whether they were leased or purchased outright by the patrons of such establishments however they were ultimately intended to provide a modest supplementary income very much like modern day jukeboxes. Condition report disclaimer

Auction archive: Lot number 61
Auction:
Datum:
28 Mar 2017
Auction house:
Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions
16-17 Pall Mall
St James’s
London, SW1Y 5LU
United Kingdom
info@dreweatts.com
+44 (0)20 78398880
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