A beautiful bird cage clock made circa 1780 and singing 7 tunes on the hour. Toward the end of the 17th century, it was a popular pastime to raise canary birds and teach them to sing. This fashion was the inspiration for the decorative objects using singing birds of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, of which this clock is an example. At first, the bird’s song was provided by a serinette mechanism, as is the case here; later, the Jaquet-Droz were to invent the whistle with sliding piston, which allowed a much greater miniaturization and the imitation of true bird song. In this case, the bird sings popular tunes of the period.
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