The Kid Should See This

How do antique singing bird music boxes work?

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A lifelike bird made of feathers and metal sits at the top of the box. When activated, the bird flaps its wings, turns its head, and opens its beak, as chirps and warbles play. Inside the decorative box, there’s a complex system of gears and springs. The chirping sounds are created with a small bellows system that forces air through a whistle or pipe.

Singing bird boxes, also known as bird cage automata, are tabletop engineering marvels that mimic the sounds and movements of birds. These ornate boxes were popular luxury items in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, especially in Europe.

Karl Griesbaum singing bird music box
Music box enthusiast and collector Troy Duncan shares these antiques on his Singing Bird Boxes YouTube channel. He demonstrates an antique singing bird cage music box automaton by German artist Karl Griesbaum (b.1872) in the video above. Via Renaissance Antiques:

“The Griesbaum firm is among the most recognized makers of singing bird boxes. Founded in the early 20th century, Griesbaum not only created mechanical marvels such as bird boxes but were innovators in producing whistler automatons and singing bird cages.”

In the video below, Duncan shares the intricate mechanical devices inside the singing bird music box.

a close up on the gears and whistle

Previously: Mechanical singing bird box automata of the 1700s and 1800s.

Plus, enjoy more automata videos, including:
β€’Β An Automaton of Marie Antoinette, The Dulcimer Player
β€’Β The Silver Swan: Conservation of the 250-year-old automaton
β€’Β Mechanical Tales: Wood automata toys by Stoccafisso Design
β€’Β A wood automata submarine bustling with busy animals
β€’Β A Sisyphus kinetic sculpture made with LEGO

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