Antique Drum, Bell & Castanet Music Box by Nicole Freres, c. 1875
A superb sounding and best quality antique music box with drum, bells and castanet made by the prestigious firm of Nicole Freres in Geneva, Switzerland in c. 1875.
The fully serviced musical movement features a drum with 8 beaters, a woodblock castanet, and a beautifully arranged array of 6 bells, vertically mounted around an attractive central flourish. All of these orchestral elements can be engaged and disengaged at will using the levers to the front of the comb.
The music box plays a selection of operatic music and tunes popular in the mid-Victorian era (one of which, while still a popular tune today, is here referred to by its old Music Hall title that very much dates the piece). The music plays with an excellent, bright sound.
The bedplate and original tunesheet both bear the Nicole Freres serial number 44179, dating it to a period when the firm was making some of their best music boxes. The tunesheet also has the retailer’s label ‘John Alfred Mills – Music Warehouse – 36a Moorgate Street – London’ – a firm who sometimes advertised as ‘Mill’s Musical Marvels for the Million...Music and Musical Instruments at Marvellously Moderate Prices’.
The case is in its original condition, veneered in old rosewood with beautiful inlays to the lid and front, together with tulipwood banding to the lid, front, and sides. It makes for a highly attractive and great quality antique music box.