Swiss Six Cylinder Interchangeable Music Box
This mesmerizing cylinder music box is a true work of mechanical artistry. The music box survives with six interchangeable cylinders, each playing six tunes. The complete selection of 36 tunes plays in lovely accompaniment with nine engraved saucer bells played by whimsical dragonfly strikers.
This exceptional instrument features musical arrangements by composers such as Handel, Haydn, and Strauss. In a most uncommon example of tune selection, two entire cylinders are devoted to a selection of 12 of the 56 tunes from Handel’s “Le Messie.” In addition, another entire cylinder plays a selection of 6 of the 36 songs from Haydn’s “La Creation.” This choice of tune arrangement is extraordinarily rare and suggests this music box was commissioned by an individual who held these specific works in high esteem.
The instrument rests within a rich rosewood case adorned with marquetry inlays on the front and lid, canted corners, and kingwood cross-banding. The original tune card survives on the inside lid, listing every tune and composer for each cylinder. Finally, the music box rests atop a lower cabinet with four turned columns to support the instrument above and drawers specially designed to house each cylinder safely.
Music boxes were not only at the forefront of technological advancement in their day but among the most distinguished luxuries to own. Due to the challenging and cost-prohibitive endeavor of producing cylinders, only a rare number of feature interchangeability. These marvels of musical and mechanical achievement are amongst the rarest and most desirable music boxes surviving today.
This marvelous music box bears a complete restoration and a one-year warranty.
The music box alone measures 14″ High x 39″ Wide x 19″ Deep.
Overall, the entire piece measures; 42″ High x 39″ Wide x 19″ Deep.
Circa 1880SKU: RJAN 4 $23,000 Inquire