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News & Information
Automaton musical / singing bird boxes and bird cages are mechanical masterpieces which have sang charming tunes since the 19th C. Produced mostly in Europe, the automaton mechanical music bird boxes and cages were made by a variety of well known makers. Each musical piece is uniquely created by the maker and ranges in complexity, material and beauty. Manor Auctions will sell a nice variety of automaton bird boxes and cages consigned from a private Florida collection.
Many of the automaton musical bird boxes and cages are made to be very decorative and ornate, possessing fine, intricate detail. Each bird is made to be life-like in functionality, with moving head, wings, tails and mouth. In come instances real birds were sometimes used. Mechanically, the birds are made to move and react perfectly with the tune or music the box / cage is set to play. Makers went to great lengths to ensure all the mechanics moved in unison to create a brilliant and pleasing finished product. This being said, the automaton musical birds may be found with multiple birds withing a single cage. In these cases, the complexities became even greater in that the birds would sing in harmony, alternating their turn singing alongside each other. The more birds present, the more complex the mechanics and the greater the effort involved.
The automaton musical bird boxes and cages would most often be made from sterling silver, silver-plate, brass and other types of workable metals. These were mostly found to be key-wound, with switches to activate the birds to sing.
This is a great opportunity for collectors to expand their collections. If you do not own a automaton bird box or cage, this is your chance to purchase one of these intriguing mechanical masterpieces. They can be enjoyed and spoke about for years to come.
Bid In This Auction: All of Manor's auctions are open to everyone, so take a moment to preview our 900 lot online auction catalog. Buyers are welcome to bid via Telephone, Floor, Absentee or Internet. Please contact the gallery if you have any questions about the lot or the auction bidding process.The auction takes place February 25th at 10am Eastern at Manor's Tallahassee Gallery.
Aside from the Automaton Mechanical Music Bird Boxes and Cages, the auction will also include: fine jewelry, diamonds, timepieces, coins, currency, crystal & glassware, jade, ivory, original listed art, gem stones, military antiques, silver, Native American sterling silver jewelry, scrimshaw, Chinese seals, collectibles & furniture.
Consign to Auction: Have items to sell? From single pieces to collections and estates, Manor Auctions would like the opportunity to speak with you. Manor Auctions is always buying and accepting quality consignments for upcoming auctions. Contact Manor for a no cost sale of consignment consultation.
A Listing of Automaton Mechanical Bird Boxes & Cages Being Sold in February 25th Auction:
GERMAN STERLING SILVER SINGING BIRD BOX AUTOMATON A German sterling silver musical bird box automaton. Ornate bird motif to the lid and all sides. Key wind with bird-shaped key. Blue and green singing bird. Bottom is marked "Made in Germany 925 Sterling", with a makers mark "EB". Automaton is contained in a protective box Size: 3.75 x 2.5 x 1.75" Condition: VGC Est. 2000-3000 Lot 23458
REUGE ENAMELED MUSIC SINGING BIRD BOX AUTOMATON Enameled singing bird box automaton. This colorful bird sings, rotates back and forth, moves its beak, flaps its wings, and flutters its tail. Enameled design depicts an image of courtship. Marked to the bottom "Reuge Music Sainte-Croix Made In Switzerland". This box is numbered 2143. Comes in larger display box. Size: 4.5 x 2.5 x 2" Condition: VGC Est. 1500-2500 Lot 23459
SILVER PLATED SINGING BIRD MUSIC BOX AUTOMATON Key-wind singing bird music box automaton. Silver plated ornately decorated box. Size: 4 x 2.75 x 2" Condition: VGC Est. 400-600 Lot 23460
BRASS SINGING BIRD BOX AUTOMATON A brass singing bird box automaton with enameled lid depicting a courting scene. Blue stones accent the sides of the footed box. Unmarked. Size: 5.25 x 3.25 x 2.25" Condition: VGC Est. 500-800 Lot 23461
VINTAGE SINGING BIRDCAGE MUSIC BOX AUTOMATON Singing birdcage automaton features a red and black bird that rotates back and forth, moves beak, and moves tail feathers. Jeweled brass cage. Marked "E" on the bottom. Lever on/off switch can be set on intermittent, continuous, or stop. Size: 9" tall Condition: VGC, with some wear to bird Est. 200-400 Lot 23462
VINTAGE SINGING BIRDCAGE MUSIC BOX AUTOMATON Singing birdcage automaton features a red, yellow and black bird that rotates head back and forth, moves beak, and moves tail feathers. Lever on/off switch can be set on intermittent, continuous, or stop. Unmarked. Bottom wind. Size: 9" tall Condition: VGC Est. 200-400 Lot 23463
GERMAN SINGING BIRDCAGE AUTOMATON 2 BIRDS A German singing birdcage automaton with 2 birds. Red and yellow birds chirp, rotate their heads back and forth, and move their tail feathers. (Beaks are not moving) Bottom wind with 3 position on/off lever in German, stop, pause, and start. Unmarked. Size: 11" tall Condition: GC Est. 200-400 Lot 23464
WEST GERMANY SINGING BIRDCAGE AUTMATON 2 BIRDS Two bird singing birdcage automaton. Made in West Germany. Gilded and jeweled base. Bottom wind with on/off lever. Birds chirp, move their beaks and tail feathers, and rotate left and right (red bird no longer rotates). Size: 9" Condition: GC to VGC Est. 200-400 Lot 23465
LATE 19TH CENTURY FRENCH BIRDCAGE AUTOMATON Antique French birdcage automaton. Late 19th Century. Two birds that sing, move their tail feathers and beaks, and rotate their heads back and forth. With real bird feathers. Carved gilt wood base. Side wind with lever on/off switch. Size: 20" Condition: GC, with some tattering to bird feathers Est. 800-1200 Lot 23466
LARGE ANTIQUE BIRDCAGE AUTOMATON A large antique birdcage automaton, possibly French. Red and black bird moves its tail feathers and beak and rotates head back and forth. Bird also sings sometimes, not working properly. Side key wind with 3 position on/off lever. Size: 20" Condition: GC Est. 400-800 Lot 23467
ELPA WEST GERMAN BIRDCAGE AUTOMATON 3 BIRDS Three bird singing bird cage automaton. Marked to the bottom "ELPA Made in West Germany". Three position on/off lever can be set to continuous, intermittent, or stop. Three birds that sing and move their beaks and tail feathers. Blue bird also rotates back and forth. Enameled figural base. Size: 10.25" Condition: VGC Est. 200-400 Lot 23468
VINTAGE SWISS BIRDCAGE AUTOMATON 2 BIRDS Swiss bird cage automaton with 2 birds. Each bird sings, moves its beak and tail feathers, and rotates head back and forth. Bottom wind and 3 position on/off lever can be set to continuous, intermittent, or stop. Birds show some age and yellow bird is missing 1 foot. Size: 11" Condition: GC Est. 100-300 Lot 23469
ANTIQUE SINGING BIRDCAGE AUTOMATON Antique brass bird cage automaton features a yellow bird. Bird is supposed to rotate back and forth, sing, and move its beak and tail feathers. However, it is not currently working. Bottom wind and on/off switch. Some minor loss to bird plumage. Size: 12" tall Condition: GC, not working Est. 100-300 Lot 23470
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