Bruguier, Schweizer Spieldosenfabrikant um 1850

(derzeit dokumentiert: Spieldosen)


Charles-Abraham Bruguier sen., 1788–1862

Charles-Abraham Bruguier jun., 1816–?

Charles-Abraham Bruguier, the senior was born on January 5, 1788, in the family of a clockmaker and inherited the helm. In October 1813, he married Louise-Pernette Noiret, and in June 1814, their daughter Jacqueline was born.

A year later, in June 1815 Charles-Abraham took his family to London, where they lived for several years. Other children were born there: Charles-Abraham in 1818 and Louise in 1821.

The Bruguier family returned to Switzerland around 1823. It was apparently only after his return to Geneva that Charles-Abraham began creating singing birds.

Between 1833 and 1837, Bruguier moved to the town of Sainte-Suzanne in France, to work in the Paur (later renamed as the L'epee) music-box factory. This fact explains the existence of music boxes with the Bruguier signature.

In 1837, the Bruguier family returned to Geneva. After 1843, Bruguier acquired property in Gran-Pre (the north from Geneva), and transferred his workshop there. The last reference we have concerning Bruguier was his application for the passport in December 1861, for a scheduled trip to Paris. Six months later, in June 1862, he passed away at the age of 74.

Charles Abraham Bruguier sen. is known for his unique bird boxes. Hence, he created other mechanical art items, quite unusual ones. As cited by his grandson “a clock surmounted by a vase, in the center of which a rose opens up every hour. A hummingbird appears from this rose. It sings and hides back, whereupon the rose closes up again”; “… a flute player is leaning against a tree. He plays and every movement of his fingers corresponds to a note. A small bird appears and sings; the man descends his flute and turns his head to listen. A cat suddenly appears and pounces on the bird just as it finishes its song, but the bird disappears and the man begins playing again”.

Charles Abraham Bruguier sen. was 'the last of the great makers of singing birds in the true tradition of the Jaquet-Droz', to whom the invention of singing bird boxes has traditionally been attributed (Geoffrey T. Mayson, Mechanical Singing-Bird Tabatières, London, 2000, p. 16).

Charles Abraham Bruguier jun. was born in 1816, and the family lived in London between 1816 and 1822, where Bruguier improved his craftmanship further on mechanical boxes of all sorts. His son continued his business later on, and much like Bontems, they did not only make these colourfully-enamelled cheerful bird boxes, but also specialised in repairing earlier examples of earlier automaton makers, such as Jaquet-Droz and Leschot.

Quellen: https://mus-col.com/en/the-authors/18140/; https://www.sothebys.com/en/buy/auction/2019/style-european-silver-gold-boxes-and-ceramics/a-silver-gilt-and-enamel-singing-bird-box-charles


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Auf diesem Bildzitat einer in Japan beheimateten Bruguier-Spieldose ist wenigstens zu erahnen, dass oben in der Mitte eine Lyra zu sehen ist, unten in Versalien ETOUFFIER EN ACIER


Silver Fusée Singing Bird Box by Charles Bruguier: He produced an average of only 27 of these precious boxes per year during his career (https://rauantiques.com/products/silver-fusee-singing-bird-box-by-charles-bruguier?variant=34858356572295)


A very early fine tortoiseshell, gold and enamel singing bird box, by Charles Bruguier (http://www.douglas-fisher.com/index.php?pg=stock&cat=antique_fusee_singing_bird_boxes&stock=425)


Siehe Spielwerke mit einer Musiktafel des Designs „Aussen Perlenreihe, seitlich links und rechts Musikinstrumente“