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Auktionen Dr. Crott 91st Auction

189 Attributed to John Rich, London/Geneva, 105 x 63 x 46 mm, 639 g, dated 1804 An important and unique gold enamel musical box of museum quality, studded with half pearls: “The Orchestra”; with automaton and carillon musical movement with bells and vibrating blades. The box comes with its original silk-lined morocco case Case: 18K gold and enamel. Rectangular heavy box with chamfered corners, all-over engine-turned pattern of horizontal waves and diagonal fine branching, cobalt-blue enamelling; opaque black vertical wiggly lines. Lid studded with half-pearls, central rectangular enamel plaque with floral gold rim in a fine blue enamel moulded gold frame. Very fine polychrome painting in the style of Jean-Francois-Victor Dupont: en plein picture of a bacchanal: a glade with a naked youth playing the flute and two scantily clad dancing nymphs. On the right a winged cupid pointing his love arrow at the dancing beauties. In the background leaved trees and a mountain against a blue sky. The sides of the lid are framed with a heart-shaped opaque light-blue Champlevé border. The chamfered corners are decorated with gold scrolls and opaque light-blue Champlevé enamel flowers on black ground. The sides and the base with engraved floral borders that have some opaque black enamelling on the sides. The inside has a classical automaton scene of an orchestra with elaborate engraving and polychrome enamelling: constructional stage with open curtain and two large flanking vases against a light-blue background with gold stripes. Central Empire-style reliefed triangular pediment with four sculpted musicians: on the left a conductor with articulated arm, on his side a seated singer who moves his foot with the music. In the centre a lady musician playing the virginals with articulated head and arms - her movements are particularly visible because they are mirrored in the lid. On the right a lady harpist with articulated arm. Musical movement and automaton: highly intricate brass movement, gilt, chain/fusee, pinned barrel with 40 vibrating blades over two levels, eight coaxial bells with eight small ivory hammers, mainspring with scratched signature “Carrisol” and date “1804/12”. The morocco case bears an inscription in the cover: “Mr. Duncan Camber (Zed. turned(?)) lined Block + Silver clamps at Corner p. £ 2 Keys”.

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