Jean-Frédéric Leschot,
*1746, tätig bis 1810, †1824

Pierre Jaquet-Droz,
der Erfinder der Singvogelautomaten

To Pierre Jaquet-Droz, born 1721, regarded as one of the most celebrated automata maker of all times, is credited the invention of the boîte à oiseau chanteur.


Im Jahr 1782 tritt Jean-Frédéric Leschot als Associé bei Jaquet-Droz ein und ihm (oder zumindest auch ihm) ist die nötige Miniaturisierung zu verdanken

Saluz, Klangkunst, S. 19

In the book Le Monde des Automates by Chapuis and Gélis record that between 1770 and 1784 several makers including Jaquet-Droz and Jean-Frédéric Leschot (b. 1746) were making singing bird cages in which the bird song was produced by a miniature pipe-organ requiring a separate pipe for each note.

Chapuis and Gélis claim that the variable pitch whistle was the work of Leschot, however another author, Brittens, claims that the credit for its invention belongs to Henri Maillardet (1745–1815), who also joined the company in 1784, although probably Jaquet-Droz should be credited with it. (Wikipedia)

Erste Singvogelautomaten entstanden im Jahr 1784/85

The work to miniaturize the mechanical bird and develop a compact movement using a one and only single pipe of variable pitch was all completed in the year 1784/1785 and this component made possible the reduction in size of the movement and as a consequence giving rise to the birth of the singing bird box. It is possible that this was mainly the work of Leschot, who became a partner in the Jaquet-Droz business in 1782. (Wikipedia)

Whoever it was, it is clear that by 1785 snuffbox or tabatière-sized movements were known in France, Germany and England. These mechanisms were the work of a small group of skilled and talented men laboring in Geneva, led by Pierre Jaquet-Droz and his son Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz, (born 1752, and including Leschot, Maillardet and Jacob Frisard. (Wikipedia)

Pierre Jaquet-Droz & Leschot – London,
1790 –1810

In November 1790, Pierre Jaquet-Droz died (followed by his son Henri the year later) and this logically ended the partnership with Leschot. However, Leschot continued to produce singing birds in Geneva under the old partnership name of "Jaquet-Droz & Leschot – London" (they had opened a London office and hence they marked their creations with the city's name, but they were all made in Switzerland). Leschot died in 1824, although he had previously retired in 1810. (Wikipedia)