Antique Forte Piano Two-Per-Turn Music Box by Nicole Freres of Geneva, Switzerland, c. 1869
This is an excellent and unusual antique music box made by the prestigious Geneva-based firm of Nicole Freres.
It has a forte piano 2-comb movement, giving it a subtle sound, combined with a two-per-turn format on a fat cylinder enabling the box to play 12 operatic airs. The result is quite beautiful – a great array of music and a complex, elegant sound.
The movement has been fully restored to put it in excellent condition, and whilst there is an old casting mark in the bedplate, it has no impact on the sound or quality of the box.
This is housed in a gorgeous rosewood case with intricate inlays of griffins, patterns and foliage to both the lid and front. The lid has some very old scratches that have been restored and only add character to the box as a whole.
The tunesheet is a later replacement, and details both the serial number 43710 (also stamped on the bedplate) and the gamme number 2165.