Antique Full Orchestral Interchangeable Music Box with Automata Strikers, c. 1870
This is a very rare and special full orchestral interchangeable antique music box, made in Switzerland in c. 1870. It features a set of three Mandarin automata strikers, as well as fine quality combs and a first-class mechanism.
The movement has been fully serviced and is in excellent condition. It features 6 rack-mounted saucer bells struck by 3 Mandarin automata strikers, who each nod as they strike in time with the music. There is also a drum with 8 beaters, a castanet with 8 beaters, and an unusually large 33-note organ section. These can all be disengaged at will. The combs are in very good condition, and there is a large single spring as well as a particularly nice design moulded into the governor guard. Small details like this indicate the very high quality of this music box.
The 3 cylinders each play 6 operatic tunes; one of them plays overtures. The cylinders are 49cm / 19 ¼” in length. They are housed in a drawer in the table.
The case is veneered in walnut, with kingwood crossbanding and tulipwood stringing. There is a thuya wood diamond lozenge feature to the lid, which is repeated on the front of the case and on the drawer of the matching table (of later manufature). The dust lid on the interior of the case also has kingwood crossbanding. It all makes a correspondingly elegant and impressive case for such a fine music box.