A stunning gold, enamel and split-seed pearl 'oiseau chantant' (singing bird) box (estimated at £80,000-120,000) is to be auctioned at Bonhams' in Knightsbridge on Wednesday 21 April.
Made in France in 1795 by Frères Rochat, the box is a perfect example of the highly skilled craftsmanship which the creation of these ultimate luxury objects demanded.
Also on sale is the only surviving privately owned example of a Victorian 'Lion' treadle lock-stitch sewing, estimated at £20,000-30,000.
Other highlights include a musical liqueur set and smokers companion box in the shape of a chalet (estimated at £3,500-4,000), dating from 1911.
The auction is one of two a year devoted to fine mechanical music and scientific instruments (the other is on 3 November) and features over 140 lots ranging from pocket globes to musical snuffboxes.
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