A very beautiful oval silver and enamel singing bird box with clock signed Paul Leopold Buhré
Le Locle, Switzerland, date circa 1900
Height 5 cm, width 14 cm.
Singing bird boxes with clocks are among the most prized automaton objets d'art and the delight of the eighteenth century onward. The firm of Paul Leopold Buhré was one of the few specialists to supply miniature movements and parts for these unique toys. In 1815 Paul Leopold Buhré opened a small workshop in Saint Petersburg, and was appointed an official supplier to Her Majesty of Russia. His son, Paul (also spelled Pavel) continued to run the business. He supplied jewelled watches to the Russian Imperial court, which the Tsar sometimes gave as gifts, for instance to members of the Imperial Mariinski Theatre. Buhré and Henri Moser are noted as the main suppliers of clock movements, dials and hands to the celebrated jeweller, Carl Fabergé. All the parts were made at Buhré's workshop at Le Locle, Switzerland, which from 1880 was run by Paul Girard and his assistant George Pfund. The latter succeeded Paul Buhré in St. Petersburg and Moscow.