Singing bird box stars in Autumn Sale

Posted on 21st September 2016

A much sought-after continental singing bird box is set to reach the high notes at our Autumn Antiques Catalogue Sale on Tuesday 27 September.

Dating from the late 19th century, the decorated silver and blue enamel box is a fine example of its type and carries a price estimate of £5,000 - £7,000. It measures 11.5cm by 8.5cm and is operated by a wind-up, clockwork motor. The bird automaton is covered in coloured feathers and emerges from an oval, lidded opening at the top of the box. 

Singing bird boxes were first invented in Geneva around 1784/85 and have enjoyed widespread popularity ever since, providing a unique blend of art and science. Many of the older or unusual examples can attract very high prices at auction. This particular box (Lot 378) is in great condition and has a lovely song. 

The singing bird is not the only animal-themed curiosity to feature in the Autumn Catalogue Sale. Lot 196 is an unusual silver continental snuff box in the shape of a dog’s head. This eye-catching object measures only 5cm high and is valued at £500 -£700. 

A novelty cat-shaped brooch (Lot 267A) is also likely to attract attention in the sale’s jewellery section. Made out of textured gold, the four limbs are articulated, with moulded whiskers and ears, and two sapphire highlights for the eyes. It is approximately 4cm long, weighs 16.8gms and carries a guide price of £1,000 - £1,500. 

All items in the Autumn Antiques Catalogue Sale are illustrated in the sale catalogue, which can also be viewed online on this website. 

The sale itself starts at 10.00am on Tuesday 27 September and bidding can be made in person, online or via the telephone. The contents of the sale can be viewed on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September between 10.00am and 1.00pm and on Monday 26 September from 9.00am to 4.00pm. 

For further details of any items in the sale, please call us on 01325 462559 or email:

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