Antique Station Box with Dancing Dolls by Junod, Swiss, c. 1890
A great sounding “Theatre Box” or "Station Box" made by Junod of St Croix, Switzerland in c. 1890.
The overhauled movement has a sublime harmony arrangement with two combs, giving it a particularly fine quality sound. There are three dancing dolls (two original, one replaced) in very good working order who dance and spin to the music. The movement also features a twin spring for longer running time, and a tune indicator, and is wound using an exterior crank. The case is walnut with kingwood crossbanding.
When a new English penny is placed in the slot, the music box plays three songs while the dolls dance before it. This box plays eight tunes in total, as detailed on the original tunesheet, including Estudiantina, Faustand Carmen.
These theatre boxes were originally designed for train stations in Switzerland where members of the public could enjoy themselves while waiting for the train by playing the music. It makes for a great spectacle and, as mentioned before, it has a particularly nice sound.