1283 : Ami Rivenc, c. 1870

Antique Piece a Oiseau Full Orchestral Antique Music Box by Ami Rivenc, c. 1870


A museum quality, extremely rare Piece a Oiseau full orchestral antique music box made by Ami Rivenc of Geneva, Switzerland in c. 1870. Singing bird boxes are rare. Full orchestral singing bird boxes almost never appear, and it is over ten years since we had one similar. Truly is is a very special thing.

The movement features 6 engraved bells stuck by a selection of bee strikers, a drum, castanet, and a singing bird automaton visible through its own window at the front of the case.

The beautiful feathered bird has four separate moving parts: head, beak, wings and tail. The beak moves in time with the music he makes, lending him a wonderfully realistic air.

As an extra feature, the birdsong can be turned off at will – although even when silent, the bird continues to move. He sits inside his original dried foliage nest, and has a beautiful tone to his birdsong, thanks to a 15-note organ. The bird section is stamped with the serial number 19579, while the musical section has serial number 18140.

The bells are engraved and can be disengaged at will, as can the drum and castanet. The entire musical movement has been fully overhauled and cleaned, and is in the best possible condition. It plays a selection of 6 operatic airs with a wonderful sound, as listed on the original tunesheet.

The case is veneered in lush burr walnut with a beautiful honey-coloured finish, with tulipwood inlay and kingwood crossbanding. It also features gilded carrying handles to the sides and sits on top of of an ebonised plinth.

Width: 30” / 76cm
Height: 13 ½” / 34cm
Depth: 17” / 43cm
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