Antique Chalet-Style Station Box with Dancing Dolls & Mandarin Strikers by Langdorff, c. 1890
A very scarce and rather charming Swiss chalet-style Station Box, made by Langdorff et Fils of Geneva in c. 1890.
The musical movement features three beautiful dancing dolls at the front, two mandarin strikers above with four saucer bells, a drum on the left and a tune indicator. This movement has been fully refurbished and is in excellent condition, with a superb sound to match.
The music box is coin operated: when one old English penny is inserted (or on occasions, two…), it plays two tunes from a very good selection of 8 airs, including Carmen and Stephanie Gavotte. The dolls dance at the front, while the mandarins nod their heads and strike the bells behind. The original tunesheet, of unusual design, details the songs in the interior.
The case has been very finely carved, probably in Brienz, and has very intricate fretwork. It is in original conditions with only very minor losses – no small feat considering its age.
The size of this station box is particularly attractive, since it is tidy and compact, a feature which complements the dancing dolls and makes this a wonderful, rare, and charming music box.