It comes as an elaborate egg displaying the world with jewels as major cities. By pressing them, they open the egg revealing the automaton. Once opened, the Firebird responds to music.
During nighttime, the face on the egg is that of a dead woman and blowing the accompanying Scarab whistle turns the Firebird into a lethal clockwork machinery, responding to auditory and perhaps visual input.
The egg displayed the face of a maiden upon death. She threw it away, angering the king who killed her.
Tyler at first showed the Firebird to various art dealers in Paris and sometime learned about the curse. He contacted his friend Robert Cath to examine it on the Orient Express. Cath was late and somehow the bird killed Tyler, perhaps by accident. Anna Wolff discovered the egg on his body and stole it, while little Francois Boutarel found the whistle.