Swiss Automaton Cylinder Music Box
Swiss Automaton Cylinder Music Box Swiss Automaton Cylinder Music Box Swiss Automaton Cylinder Music Box Swiss Automaton Cylinder Music Box Swiss Automaton Cylinder Music Box Swiss Automaton Cylinder Music Box Swiss Automaton Cylinder Music Box
Swiss Automaton Cylinder Music Box
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Swiss Automaton Cylinder Music Box

  • This rare Swiss cylinder music box is activated by the drop of a coin
  • The addition of a drum, bells and castanet results in a stunning complexity to the music
  • Its sound is superb, retaining a crisp melodious tuning as each instrument plays ten different airs
  • Automata dancers, drummers and butterflies add to the charm of the rare piece
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Watch video Item No. 30-7461
Price: Available upon request
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description
This phenomenal and rare Swiss cylinder music box is a highly collectible piece of musical and artistic history. Comprising a single cylinder, a drum, eight bells and a castanet, the music box plays ten popular airs, which are listed inside the lid. When a coin is dropped in the slot, this remarkable mechanism is set in motion, producing crisp and well-timed melodies. Its wooden case, which takes the form of a traditional Swiss home, is itself a work of incredible beauty and incorporates a glass panel to protect the delicate machinery.

Introduced in the 1870s, the orchestral music box revolutionized the industry. The addition of drums, bells and castanets provided a new level of sound production and served to invigorate the industry, even though their production was very costly and they were generally accessible only to the exceptionally affluent. And, while most cylinder boxes are considered desirable, an example such as this boasts numerous subtle advantages. First, these more elaborate and more expensive boxes allowed the listener to customize the sound of the music box by turning off one or many of the added instruments. Second, this example's automata are a charming addition to the work. Five dancing dolls move to the tune in the foreground, and the box is further animated by butterflies and two Chinese figures in the background who turn their heads slightly as they strike the bells. The whole performance is controlled by an ingenious system of cams and levers, while the arms of the bell strikers are controlled by the teeth of the comb. Indeed, no detail was overlooked in the creation of this marvelous music box.

Retailed by Lith Picard-Lion, Geneva

Circa 1880

27 7/8" high x 34 1/4" wide x 19" deep
specifications
Period: 19th Century
Origin:Switzerland
Type:Cylinder Music Boxes
Width:34 1/4 Inches
Height:27 7/8 Inches
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