More Then A Melody The Gift Shops: Antique Music Boxes



Do you memorize your first Walkman or iPod? The current commitment to streamlining portable musical devices exemplifies how essential music is to our culture and to humanity. But long before we could stream music on our cell phones, inventors strive to automate the different musical fashion of their time. In fact, the first known records of mechanical Diy music boxes date back to the 9th century! But these musical innovations weren't just efficient, they were lavishly designed and assembled at the highest level of craftsmanship. At Ushopkart Antiques, we have an incredible and diverse exclusive selection of the gift shop antique music boxes and musical devices, varying extremely in scale, from hand-held bird boxes to towering orchestrators.


One of the initial examples of automated music boxes in our set features the melody of a bird song, rather than a conventional musical composition. Known as “bird boxes,” these unique and difficult automatons include a small, intricately feathered robotic bird that appears from a box to “sing” its song. One of history’s most accepted makers of bird box automaton is Frères Rochat, who planned this elegant example, the Singing bird box in silvery decorated with enamel of circa 1840, that operates on a fusée movement. Fusée movements are known for their amazing complexity, which offers the longest and clearest playing movements as a result of their chain-driven operation for best high pitch voices.

Several early music boxes were prepared by watch and clock-makers, who were well suited to influence their small, intricate mechanisms. They sometimes even fitted melodious mechanisms in snuff boxes! Eventually, for a bigger the gift shops and deeper sound, the size of the boxes had to grow, so cabinetmaker was commissar to build ornate housings for larger mechanisms.

Some of our most charming the gift shop music boxes operate with a disc mechanism whose melody is imprinted in metal, rather than on a paper roll. The Polyphon Autochange Disc Music Box from circa 1892 is one of my personal favorites. Much like a jukebox, it contains several large metal discs that each feature a song. These can be interchanged (and the box can hold up to 6 at a time!) There are even slot on the front of the box to show text or artwork corresponding to each disc’s melody.


A smaller, tabletop account of this same mechanism resembles an old-fashioned record player; in the Regina Music Box the metal disc sit horizontally, and pins beneath hit each perforation as it spins to create the bells for the gift shop. The box’s disk is also detachable and interchangeable—and is accessible with a total of 17 discs!


Eventually, there was required for larger scale the gift shop music boxes that would replace live bands or orchestras in dance halls or cafés. One such creation was the Arburo Orchestrion Organ by Bursens & Roels. This electrical Melody box from the early 20thcentury boasts not only a 168-pipe organ, but also base and catch drums, a triangle, and 20 different melodies on identical paper scrolls. Check out the links below to experience this bold and energetic machine.


My preferred the gift shop example in the store is our Hand Crafted Music Box, Castle. This model is an individual string quartet for your home, it can be taken anywhere with a loud fine voice all over, all automatic to play from one of several paper rolls of varying compositions. The the gift shop handcrafted music box castle is played by a circular bow comprised of the musical machine with fine tunings for the best melodious experience. However, one of the most thrilling parts of this piece is its development of active range, allowing it to play very quietly in piano, or a loud forte, something before only achievable by a human musician. This is one of only 63 remaining models of the Hupfeld Phonoliszt-Violina replica B globally and is in excellent condition.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published