Gold singing bird snuffbox up 29% on estimate at Bonhams

A gold singing bird enamelled snuffbox set with diamonds made $230,000 at a sale at Bonhams New York on December 12 - achieving an increase of 29.4%.

Initially the box was attributed to Freres Rochat, however it transpires that it was in fact made by Jean Georges Reymond, Isaac-Daniel Piguet and Henri Capt - three noted builders of automata.

Snuffbox bird singing
The snuffbox was made in Geneva, Switzerland circa 1804

The mechanism is marked with a number seven, indicating that it was built by the makers early in their partnership, and dates to around the beginning of the 19th century.

It features a bird that emerges from the box to flap its wings and sing when a key is wound.

The box was purchased by Turkish Sultan Abdul Aziz (1830-1876) in the mid 19th century and embellished with the monogram of his son, Prince Shehzade Mahmud Celaleddin Efendi (1862-1888).

Dr Jonathan Snellenburg, director of clocks and watches at Bonhams New York, described the piece prior to the sale as "a sumptuous masterwork of early 19th century Swiss clock making."

A 14k gold Rolex chronograph wristwatch with an after-market dial, circa 1966, made $45,000, while an Audemars, Piguet 18k gold chronograph watch dating to the 1940s achieved $38,750.

Recently a Rolex Submariner with the rare explorer dial made $141,000 - a new auction record for the model.

We have this Longines Men's Olympic Series Watch for sale.

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