Antique Carousel Music Automaton Music Box made by Paillard (?) and Lasseur, St Coix, c. 1890
A fine and very rare coin operated musical carousel automaton made in St Croix, Switzerland in c. 1890. Musical machines such as this are incredibly scarce and it is a pleasure to find one in such original condition and with such a good sound.
The carousel automaton was made by August Lasseur of St Croix and is signed very faintly on the coin mechanism. The carousel features 3 sets of 6 painted horses with riders, 3 swingboats with bisque doll passengers, 2 dancing dolls and a French poodle acting in the centre winding the barrel organ as the carousel spins. The spinning top is of silk with its arbour lined in green velvet and beads and with a mirror behind the dancing dolls.
When an old English penny is inserted into the slot in one of the ebonised columns, the music starts to play and the carousel begins to spin. The music plays two tunes with each penny, while the carousel revolves, the dolls dance, and the poodle grinds the organ.
The musical movement has a forte piccolo arrangement giving it a beautiful rich sound. It plays 6 tunes in total. The movement has been recently serviced and was most likely made by Paillard of St Croix, Switzerland. It is wound with a large key on the rear right hand side of the box.
The case is veneered in walnut with boxwood inlay, with ebonised columns, base, and finials. The coins drop into a coin drawer on the left hand side, which retains its original key. A painted panel on the front of the music box details: ‘Societe Anonyme suisse des Automates a Musique Ste Croix (Suisse).’
It is all in original condition. There is some deterioration to the silk but acceptable given it is over 130 years. It is an extremely rare item to find and is a wonderful survivor and though we have serviced the musical movement, we have left the other elements in as original condition as possible. It comes with 12 old English pennies.