CANVASES, CARATS AND CURIOSITIES

Swiss Ideal Music Box and Cabinet by Mermod Fréres

 

This monumental Swiss Ideal interchangeable cylinder music box by Mermod Frères is one of only two examples of its kind known to exist. The other, which is virtually identical to the present box, was made for Nicholas II, future Czar of Russia, in 1878. The Ideal mechanism inside produces an absolutely beautiful, clear and crisp sound. Secured by a Jacot & Sons patented safety check, this fascinating instrument allows for song selections, as well as changes to tempo and amplitude with a simple adjustment. Its original Ideal booklet of hand-written tune cards and a total of eight cylinders (with eight songs each for a total of 64 selections) accompanies this impeccable musical antique. Apart from its complex mechanism, the case and cabinet are equally magnificent in every way, serving as both melodious entertainment and a fine example of late 19th-century furniture. Sèvres porcelain plaques and ormolu fittings adorn the polished ebonized box and matching cabinet. Convenient storage is offered in the cabinet's bird’s-eye maple interior with drawers that protect the additional cylinders. 

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