This exceptionally wonderful and rare automaton cylinder musical box by the Mermod Fréres firm of Sainte-Croix, Switzerland is a marvel of musical craftsmanship. Through the window, one can view a fluttering butterfly and four maidens twirling and dancing along on their “stage” to the music box’s tune.
This box’s harmony, twin-tine movement is in perfect working order. It possesses a crisp, melodious sound as it plays one of three accompanying cylinders, each with six tunes. The fascinating mechanism is also equipped with a tune selector, Jacot parachute safety and speed regulator. An ornate inlaid burl walnut cabinet is the perfect complement, featuring two fitted drawers with the capacity to hold four cylinders.
Music boxes were at the height of fashion in the late 19th century and served as a status symbol for the European gentry. Switzerland was the birthplace of cylinder music boxes and home to the great majority of the most renowned manufacturers. This particular style, commonly referred to as a “station” or “showcase” box, was used to entertain guests in hotel lobbies, train stations and other similar public places. Today, these ingenious musical masterpieces are some of the most highly sought-after by collectors.
44” wide x 19” deep x 78” high
Cylinder: 20" length x 3 1/4" diameterClick here to view a video of this item.