This exceptional singing bird cylinder music box is a wonder of Austrian mechanical ingenuity. Not only does it play a selection of classical airs with remarkable tone and clarity, but its lush sound is accompanied by a colorful, singing bird automaton. Set in a beautiful inlaid case with satinwood floral and musical motifs, the music box plays six airs, listed on the inside lid, producing a pleasing and cheerful “mandolin” sound on two combs. The mechanical bird, set in a nest complete with tiny bird eggs, sings along while music box plays. His beak, wings, tail, head and body all move as he performs, as a grouping of levers between the combs controls his movements and the set of pipes produce his beautiful song. A rare improvement on the basic cylinder music box, the mandolin box achieved its melodious sound by having up to eight teeth on the comb tuned to each note, or to the tones used in the tunes played.
This type of music box was awarded a place in the International Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia, held by the United States Centennial Commission to celebrate the nation’s 100th birthday. The seal for this is displayed inside the lid, along with a second seal: “Wellausstellung 1875 Wien Franz. Joseph I. Kaiser Osterreich N. Konig V. Bohmen Etc. Apost. Konig Ungara
30" wide x 15"deep x 14" high
1. Le Juif errant. Valse
2. Le Barbier de Seville
3. La Gazza Cadra Ouverture
4. The Mocking Bird
5. Rigoletto Coro nome
6. L’Ombre. Quand je monte escotte
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