Rare Antique Interchangeable Organ Music box by Ducommun Girod, c. 1845
A magnificent and rare early interchangeable antique music box made by Ducommun Girod of Geneva, Switzerland in c. 1845.
Both the case and the movement are striking in their complexity and their originality. It is a wonderful example of its kind.
The musical movement features an 18-note reed organ and single comb arrangement which plays with an excellent and complex sound.
There are six cylinders, all 7cm in diameter, each of which plays a selection of 6 operatic airs. These include tunes from:
The Marriage of Figaro
The Barber of Seville
Lucie de Lammermoor
Les Vespres Sicilienne
This is only a selection of this music box’s repertoire. The full list is detailed on the original engraved silvered tunesheet. Each cylinder is numbered and correlates with the tunesheet.
The changing mechanism for these cylinders is noticably early, at a stage when they were clearly still experimenting with the most effective mechanisms, and as such it is a delicate operation that requires careful attention, but we have provided a recent invention for handling the cylinders (as opposed to the glove buttonhooks they most probably used to lift them originally) which makes the process considerably easier. Each of the cylinders is housed inside a drawer in the base of the case.
The case is an absolute joy to behold. There are highly intricate and multi-coloured enamel inlays to the lid, front of the case, and top of the base. The table also features canted corners and turned ebonised legs.
This music box is one of the earliest examples of an interchangeable music box ever made. It is of the finest quality and is an extremely rare and beautiful item.