Early 20th-Century Singing Bird Cage Automaton

Value (2009) | $500 Auction$700 Auction

GUEST:
This is a singing bird in a cage. It's been passed down in my family. I've had it for about 40 years.

APPRAISER:
It's a German singing bird cage automaton. And this was made around the early part of the 20th century. The bird feathers are quite realistic. It's sitting in a beautiful gilt metal case with embossed work here, and on the bottom you'll see it has the wind-up mechanism and the diamond mark for the maker and "made in Germany." There was a big craze for these automatons around the turn of the century, and some of the finest ones were made by the French and the Swiss. But the Germans also made them. And this one is not as complicated, and it does have some condition problems. This one seems to be missing a berry here. And I'm not sure what was here.

GUEST:
I don't know what was down there either.

APPRAISER:
Perhaps it was more feathers or some foliage. And the velvet base is a little faded. Probably it was in the sunlight. An almost identical bird to this, in a cage, sold for $650 in May of this year.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
And so the auction estimate for this would probably be around $500 to $700.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Shall we see if it works? (cranking) (bird singing)

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
LeBaron Antiques Trading
Woodbury, CT
Appraised value (2009)
$500 Auction$700 Auction
Event
Phoenix, AZ (August 01, 2009)
Period
20th Century
Form
Automaton
Material
Feather, Gilded, Metal

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