Antique Piece-a-Oiseau Music Box by Ami
Rivenc of Geneva, Switzerland, c. 1870
An exquisite and extremely rare Piece-a-Oiseau antique music
box with singing bird automaton, made by Ami Rivenc of Geneva, Switzerland
in c. 1870.
Only a small number
of Piece-a-Oiseau music boxes were ever made, and as such they
are highly sought after. This particular music box is in first-class,
condition and has an uncommonly good sound.
The musical movement features
two combs, and a 17 key pipe organ for the birdsong. The brightly coloured
bird sits in his own nest is viewed through a circular window in
the front of the case. When the music plays, the bird automaton sings
in time, whilst moving his wings, beak, head and tail. The birdsong can
be turned off and on at will using its own control.
The musical range
is particularly good for this kind of box. It plays a collection of 6
operatic and popular airs, as detailed on the original tunesheet alongside
the serial number. This serial number is also stamped on the winding
handle. There is also a maker’s plaque on the underside of the
interior dustlid inscribed “A. Rivenc & Co, Manufacturers,
Geneva”. The dustlid itself has beautiful floral decoration around
the edges, which complement the foliage of the bird’s nest.
case is gorgeous burr walnut with inlaid kingwood crossbanding, canted
corners and an ebonised plinth base. The gilt carrying handles are also
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