Rare Coin Operated Antique Cylinder Music box with Bells and Dancing Dolls by Paillard, c. 1890
This is a most unusual music box – a great sounding coin-operated cylinder music box with 5 engraved bells struck by coloured butterflies, with two dancing dolls and tune indicator. When an old English penny is dropped in the slot, the box plays one of the eight tunes (on occasions it requires two pennies – no doubt designed for a canny businessman…), the bells strike and the dolls dance. The dolls are original (except for their hairdos, which are of the latest up-to-date styling) and are in surprisingly good condition given their age. The bells can be disengaged at will, and the case is rosewood with kingwood banding. And importantly, the box has a superb strong sound, making it a most desirable, and very unusual, cylinder music box.