Scarce Antique Musical Theatre Box, possibly made by Conchon, c. 1885
An extremely rare museum quality antique musical theatre box with dancing ballerinas, made in all likelihood by Conchon of Geneva, Switzerland in c. 1885.
When an old English penny is inserted into the slot, the music starts and the theatre curtain rises to reveal 3 beautiful and unusually large-sized dancing dolls, all of which are in excellent original condition.
They are set within a mirrored interior, so that as they dance the 3 seem to multiply and become 11, a whole cast of ballerinas dancing to the popular airs that this music box plays – including, of course, The Can-Can (Orpheus in the Underworld) as featured in one of the videos.
The effect of this arrangement is dazzling and highly original: in my 50 years of dealing in music boxes, I have handled some of the most exciting examples known, but this is truly superb.
It plays 8 tunes, all of them well-known and lively, and has a beautiful sound to match the dancers. The musical movement has been fully serviced and featured a double spring, wound by a crank on the side of the box.
The case is walnut with numerous carved decorations, along with turned columns to the door and fretwork in front of the movement.
This is a special, museum-quality music box that I am pleased to bring to the market for sale.