Friday, April 16, 2010

Antique musical singing bird music box automaton

Antique musical singing bird music box automaton
Take a look at this beautiful antique singing bird box from the 1920s made by German maker by Karl Griesbaum.

From the eBay description:
The multi-colored, full-feathered bird flutters his wings, turns from side to side, opens and closes his beak, all the while singing his song in full voice. A bird-shaped brass key is included.

Here is the full eBay listing with many more photos of this antique singing bird automaton


Labels: , , , ,



Friday, January 08, 2010

Video explanation - how a singing bird clock works

Justin Miller over at blackforestclocks.org has made a nice video in which he describes how a singing bird clock works. It's a really cool mechanism to see and a clear, concise description of how it works. Thanks Justin!

Here is a link where you can learn more about this singing bird clock.


Labels: , , , ,



Thursday, December 24, 2009

Silver plated singing bird box by Griesbaum

Silver Plated singing bird box by Griesbaum
Here is a nice miniature singing bird box for sale on eBay.

From the eBay listing:

The case is completely decorated with flower arrangements and birds in art nouveau style. By moving the bird shaped button, the lid will jump open and a little bird will appear. It will turn from left to right moving its beak and wings and sing a song with a loud and strong voice. After it is finished it will return into the box and the lid will automatically close again. This is a great collectors piece of high quality. Made around 1950 in Germany by Griesbaum. I have had the complete movement cleaned and a new bellow fitted so it is again in perfect working order. The silver plated case measures 10 x 6,5 x 4 cm ( 3.8 x 2.5 x 1.6 inch)

Here's the full listing for this Singing bird box by Griesbaum


Labels: , , ,



Friday, October 23, 2009

Swiss singing bird music box clock automaton

Swiss singing bird music box clock automaton
Here's an attractive, fairly recently made miniature singing bird music box by Swiss manufacturer Reuge.

From the eBay listing:
Offered for sale is a singing bird music box made in Switzerland by Reuge, probably made in the 1980's. The multi-colored bird is in full feather and will sing a beautiful song. This is in perfect working and singing condition, having been recently serviced by a professional restorer. The clock is separate from the bird automaton and does not activate it. The bird plays by pulling out the knob on the right-hand side. It is in very fine condition, mechanically and cosmetically.

Here's the eBay listing for this particular Swiss singing bird music box clock automaton


Labels: , , ,



Monday, August 10, 2009

German-made 2 bird singing bird automaton

German-made 2 bird singing bird automaton
Here is a vintage 2-bird singing bird automaton made in Germany.

From the eBay description:
It stands approx 10" tall and the base is 6" across....When wound the birds move as they should (1 moves up and down, moves his tail and his beak moves, the others tail and beak moves)....HOWEVER they are not chirping....I understand that the bellows will need replaced and from research its a fairly easy task if you know what you are doing but I dont !...........Other than no chirping it is in very nice condition...Has a 3 position switch on the bottom as shown.

Here the eBay listing for this German-made 2 bird singing bird automaton


Labels: , , , ,



Thursday, August 06, 2009

Gorgeous singing bird music box automaton

I love the range one finds in automata -- from ingenious paper automata costing a few dollars hand-made on your kitchen table, to lavish antiques costing thousands. Here's one on the older, opulent, and intricate end of the spectrum: a singing bird automaton music box housed in a cigarette case (made in Germany around 1920).

From the eBay listing:
...one of a kind singing bird box in combination with a cigarette case. This sterling silver case has 4 sides that fold open in and give acces to the cigarettes. In the centre of the case behind glass panels is a Griesbaum singing bird movement. By pushing the stop start knob this lid will jump open and a little bird will appear. It will turn from left to right moving its beak and wings and sing a song with a loud and strong voice After it is finished it will return into the box and the lid will automatically close again. The mechanism is spring wound. The complete case is machine worked in combination with unbelievable highly decorative engravings.

The eBay listing features many more photographs and a video clip of the bird in action. Here's the link for this singing bird music box automaton.


Labels: , , , , ,



Friday, June 19, 2009

Singing bird automata makes for high fashion

Singing bird automata makes for high fashion
To celebrate her 20th anniversary in the business, British designer Lulu Guinness decided to make a singing bird automaton -- within a handbag!

She tapped Adam Wright, a film animatronics maker, to help with the mechanics of the piece. He, in turn, looked to Michael and Maria Start of Automatomania -- experts in the repair and restoration of automata -- for their specialized knowledge and skill.

According to Michael Start, "He spent a few days with us learning about singing birds and then sent us the bird body for Maria to feather in scarlet feathers."

When it was completed they went to an unveiling party at London's Victoria & Albert Museum -- a star studded event with the handbag as a center piece. It's official: automata have become high fashion!

Here is a video about the Singing Handbag.


Labels: , , , ,



Saturday, June 13, 2009

Video of German-made miniature singing bird box

Here is a nice looking miniature singing bird box captured on video. The box measures 4 1/8 inches long by 2 5/8 inches wide by 2 1/2 inches tall.

From the eBay Listing:
The bird comes out and twirls while flapping his wings and opening/ closing his beak. When we got it to work, there was a faint tweeting noise, but I think it needs a little adjusting to work perfectly.

When you take out the drawer, the bottom says Metall [sic], and there is a mark that looks like an EB in an oval. We looked inside the top and the upper right corner says Made in Germany, and there is a little bird on top of some hills with a K on the left and and G on the right. There is also a 5 on the back of the drawer and the back of the inside near the top.

Here is a link to this German-made miniature singing bird box.


Labels: , , , ,



Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Authoratative web site on singing bird automata

schematic of a singing bird mechanism
Falk Keuten of the Spiel und Kunst mit Mechanik blog informs me that www.alte-spieluhren.de -- run by from Detlef Knick of Berlin, Germany -- is the most comprehensive site on the web on topic of singing bird automata. The site is in German only, but has many wonderful photos and diagrams. Shown here is a schematic of a singing bird mechanism. If you can read German, I am envious!

Visit the Singvogel-Automaten page for more on singing bird automata.


Labels: , , , , ,



Sunday, May 31, 2009

K.G. Griesbaum singing bird automaton video

video
Here is a nice singing bird automaton by K G Griesbaum from Germany.

From the eBay description:
This 12 1/2" tall automaton is in excellent working condition, comes fresh from an estate, with no damages, just a little tarnishing on brass cage, bird sings and moves so beautifully. The on off works perfect (some one put a little magic marker near the switch, nail polish [remover] will take it right off, I don't have any). There are no issues to report at all other than the a little dust that will need to be cleaned.

Here's the full eBay listing with many really large photographs of the K.G. Griesbaum singing bird automaton


Labels: , , , , ,



Friday, May 29, 2009

The inner workings of a German singing bird box

Here is a great video giving us the rare opportunity to see the inner workings of a miniature singing mechanical bird. This piece was restored in the clock and automata shop of Ray Bates who specializes in the professional restoration of antique clocks, marine chronometers, and automata.

Learn more about Ray Bates at The British Clockmaker site.


Labels: , , , , , ,



Sunday, January 04, 2009

Singing bird in a cage toy by Schylling

Schylling's singing bird in a cage toy
Schylling, makers of wonderful reproduction toys, offers this simple but affordable singing bird toy. While I haven't seen it in person, the reviews on Amazon suggest it is well worth the $15.

Here is the Schylling singing bird in a cage toy.


Labels: , ,



Friday, November 14, 2008

Griesbaum whistler - singing bird box automaton

Griesbaum Whistler bird box automaton
I love these little spring-driven singing bird boxes. It's simply amazing that they were able to pack all of the mechanics for pieces like this into such a small box (its longest side is a only 4 1/4 inches). This one is by German maker Karl Griesbaum and dates to the middle part of the last century.

From the eBay listing:
When activated, the hatch on top opens, bird appearing, and there is bird song. The bird turns from side to side as it sings. The beak/tailfeathers/wings move to some degree while the bird is singing. The bird darts inside when it has finished singing and the hatch closes automatically.

Here is the full ebay listing with many more pictures of Griesbaum Whistler singing bird box automaton.


Labels: , , , , ,



Monday, September 22, 2008

Sterling Silver Automaton Bird Music Box

Sterling Silver Automaton Bird Music Box
Made around 1950 in Germany, here is a gorgeous singing bird box with a tobacco compartment hidden in the back.

When you activate the start knob the lid opens and a little bird pops up. The bird then turns left and right opens its beak, flapping its wings, and sings a song. At the end of the song, the bird returns to the box and the lid automatically snaps closed. These things are truly marvelous.

Check out 10 detailed photographs of the silver singing bird automaton music box on the eBay listing.


Labels: , , , , , ,



Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Cutest Little Robot Money Can Buy

realistic robotic baby chick toy
Here is a robotic chick toy from Japan. The bird sits on your hand, chirps, and flaps its little wings in response to touch.

But be warned, with great cuteness comes great responsibility: it cries when it's not given attention after a while. I suppose there is always the 'off' switch, too.

Check out the realistic robotic baby chick toy over at Think Geek.



Labels: , , , ,



Thursday, July 24, 2008

Miniature Singing Bird Box Automaton on eBay

Miniature Singing Bird Box Automaton
This is a handsome miniature singing bird automaton. It is small -- measuring just 4 1/4 x 2 1/2 x 1 3/4 inches!

When you slide a lever, the lid opens, the bird pops up and begins singing. The tiny bird moves its beak and turns its head. When it is done singing, the bird drops back down and the lid closes. These must have required some serious watch / clock making skills. Thought this type of automaton was made by many watch makers, the make on this one is not known.

Here is the eBay listing for this Singing Bird Box

Labels: , , , ,



Saturday, July 12, 2008

Beautiful Karl Griesbaum Singing Bird Automaton

Karl Griesbaum Singing Bird Cage Automaton
This is a very nice example of a singing bird automaton by German maker Karl Griesbaum from the 1920s or 1930s.

From the eBay listing:
"Domed brass cage on a circular drum base with original gold finish. The bird, with real feathers of yellow and black, on a T-shaped perch, is posed in a bocage of leaves made of fabric complete with the traditional miniature Black Forest red toadstool. The bird's head swivels, its tail flutters up and down and its beak opens and closes in time to the song which is a complex and long sequence of warbles and trills and whistles like a nightingale."

Here is the eBay listing for the Karl Griesbaum Singing Bird Cage Automaton.

Labels: , , ,



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Jaquet-Droz & Leschot Music Box

video
Take a look at this gold and enamel signed singing bird box. This rare automaton was made by two of the most important names in automata-making history: Jaquet-Droz and Leschot. This piece is dated to be circa 1785.

I will post more details later, but for now, enjoy the video above.

This exquisite and rare piece will be part of Skinner's upcoming Science and Technology auction to be held this Sunday, October 28th, 2007.

Labels: , , , ,



Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Singing Bird Box by Bruguier

video

As part of The Automata / Automaton Blog's coverage of the automata going to auction on October 28th, in Bolton, Massachusetts, USA here is the first of several videos featuring select items.

From the Auction Catalogue:
Fine Tortoiseshell Singing Bird Box by Bruguier, No. 600, with fusee movement, stack of four song cams operating in sequence....bird with iridescent plumage of dark and light green, red, and bright blue, articulated head, bone beak, wings, perch, and tail, in tortoiseshell case with hinged key compartment, floriate-pierced grill and foliate-chased lid...in original diced maroon leather-covered traveling case.
- Skinner Illustrated Catalogue #2383

This piece is part of Skinner Auctioneer's upcoming Science and Technology Auction.

Labels: , , ,