Lot No. 181* (90th Auction)
Jaques Bruguier à Genève, 96 x 53 x 33 mm, circa 1870

A precious gold enamel singing bird box
Case: gold, rectangular box with lobed corners, the top engine-turned and translucent cobalt blue enamelled, decorated with very finely engraved flowers and foliage decor; in the centre an oval lid set with diamonds; the sides engraved with geometrical pattern. On the right side a slide to reveal the bouncy feathered automaton. The base very finely engraved with flowers and foliage decor. Automaton mechanism: rectangular, full-plate, rounded pillars, chain/fusee, bellows, bird with moving head, wings, beak and tail in front of a pierced and engraved gold plate.

Jacques Bruguier (1801-1873)
Jacques Bruguier married Jacqueline, the daughter of renowned singing bird box maker Charles Abraham Bruguier, on January 13, 1853 and had his workshop at the Rue des Pâquis in Geneva. One can assume from the identical names that the two families were related, but this is not known for certain. Jacques Bruguier's parents were clockmaker Jean-Abraham Bruguier and his wife Rose Lamon and he was born in June 1801 in Geneva, which was French territory at the time - the city had just been annexed by the new French Republic. Jean-Abraham took his family to the Ardèche region of France, but Jacques later returned to Geneva. He began working as a mechanic for Charles-Abraham Bruguier and was living with him at Grand Pré by 1852; at the time his future wife Jacqueline was also working for her father, pinning music box cylinders. By the time Jacques and Jacqueline married, Jacques was already over 50 years old and Jacqueline was close to 40. Nevertheless the couple had two children, Jacques Alexandre and Abrahamine Charlotte Françoise. Jacques and Jacqueline Bruguier lived at Place de la Madeleine 166 from 1853 to 1861. Jacques Bruguier moved to 14, Rue du Cendrier in 1867. He died on October 7, 1873.
Source: "Flights of Fancy" by Sharon and Christian Bailly, Geneva 2001, p. 280.
Estimate  60,000 - 80,000 €

Price Realised  72,000 €
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