Antique and vintage gilt bird boxes
Antique and vintage gilt bird boxes are collectible musical boxes that have been produced with a gilt finish.
The small, gilded boxes feature a mechanical bird which “sings” and flaps its wings when a lever is pressed. Many feature a clock mechanism.
The boxes can also house personal effects and jewellery.
They heyday of gilt music boxes was in the 19th century.
Gilt bird boxes should not be confused with the small boxes designed to house birds often located in back gardens.
Gilding is the process of applying a thin coating of a precious material, such as gold or silver, to an object, usually made from wood, metal or stone.
Notable sales of antique and vintage gilt bird boxes
A gilt-brass singing bird box, made in Germany during the 20th century, sold for $3,500 at Bonhams in July 2011.
A circa 1850 gold and enamel singing bird box, made by Bruguier Jacques Cendrier in Geneva, Switzerland,and designed for the Chinese market, sold for $163,000 at Sotheby’s New York in April 2008.
A Frères Rochat gold singing bird box, from circa 1825, sold for $121,000 at Sotheby’s in April 2008.