Antique Mandoline Piccolo Interchangeable Music Box by Conchon, c. 1880
This is an outstanding interchangeable music box made by the prestigous firm of Conchon of Geneva, Switzerland, in c. 1880.
Conchon was a firm that focused on making only high-quality music boxes, and this example is no exception. The fully restored movement has a mandoline piccolo movement which creates a wonderfully complex sound, with a beautiful tonal range to all the tunes.
There are six interchangeable cylinder housed in the accompanying table, all playing mainly operatic airs with an excellent sound. The movement also features a tune indicator, zither bar and a ribbed brass bedplate.
The case and table are likewise of exceptionally high quality. On the drawer, there is an inlay of two griffins beneath a crown around a malachite centrepiece. On the tabletop, two angels are intertwined with flowers. To the front of the case, two mythical birds sit amongst more floral designs, whilst on the lid, a phoenix rises above two interwoven serpents, above a foliate device with a satyr's head at each end. This dramatic combination of inlays is most unusual, and is of the very finest quality.
The table itself has a rich rosewood veneer, along with walnut and tulipwood inlays running along the cabriole legs and on the concave drawer. The box is similarly inlaid to the lid, front and sides.
In terms of interchangeable music boxes, it would be hard to improve on this example, both in terms of the beautiful sound and the truly exquisite case.