Vintage Karl Griesbaum singing bird automaton, circa 1920. This German automaton has a singing bird in a gilt brass cage.
About Karl Griesbaum
Karl Griesbaum was the son of Mathias Griesbaum, a clockmaker in Triberg, Schwarz Wald (The Black Forest). In 1905, Karl was running his father’s workshop when he was asked to copy and adapt a Swiss snuffbox. This was a turning point in his life. He began manufacturing music boxes and snuffboxes with signing birds and started his own company Karl Griesbaum.
Karl’s oldest son, Mathias, was fascinated by the work of Frisard, Rochat and Bruguier, and studied their construction. In 1922, Mathias drew up plans of a Frisard snuffbox and a small cage with a bird for his father. The Karl Griesbaum company started making cages in 1923 and later began creating larger cages with two singing birds. In 1925, they started selling whistling figurines, which became one of Griesbaum’s biggest sucesses.
Karl Griesbaum was the only company of the twentieth century to dominate the manufacture of bird boxes for more than 50 years with an output exceeding all others put together.
11″H X 6.5″ Diameter