Disc Musical Boxes

Disc musical box “Polyphon 104”

    Disc musical box “Polyphon 104”

    Germany, Leipzig

    The 1900s

    Polyphon Musikwerke

    Wood, metal, steel, brass, glass; casting, carpentry, veneering, varnishing, wood carving

    188 x 66 x 65 cm

    Inscriptions on the moulding, chassis and medallion: “Polyphon”; on the plate “Drop a Penny”, “in the slot”; “Made in Saxony ”; on the upper bar plunger pin: “11246”, “60”. On the medallion: “MARQUE DE FABRIQUE SCHUTZMARKE TRADE MARK”


    Disc music box is mounted in nutwood-veneered case on socle with a locked coin box, on four chiselled feet, with ribbed moulding and carved inscription “Polyphon". A door with a glazed arch, apertures with slotted ornament in the upper corners and chiselled columns is on the front side. Metal ornately shaped plates with coin slot are on the case left and right lateral sides. The plate with the corner patterns and inscription “Drop a Penny”, “in the slot.”, “Made in Saxony” is nearby. A hook for fixing the door, lock metal plate and ornately shaped axis onlay of the crank. A musical movement is mounted on rectangular golden color with the inscription “Polyphon” inside the case. A driving wheel with conical notches, bracket with upper bar plunger pin with rollers, two sound combs for 118 tones and axis with crawler wheels are beneath it. The crawler wheels transmit the efforts from the metal disk pins to the music comb teeth.

    Axes with the crawler wheels set is closed by a vertical safety bar with lever when a disk is not inserted. After installing the disc, the bar moves aside and opens the crawler wheels. A bracket with the fixed axis that is connected with the disk central aperture. A spring-loaded disc drive, a start lever, coin slot and a quadrangular funnel are below behind the glazed casing. Round metal medallion with the company trademark in twisted frame is above the chassis. It is shaped as a girl’s figure with laurel wreath and a harp. A comet with the inscription “Polyphon” on its tail flies above her. A scroll with inscriptions in German, English and French is beneath.

    The music box is mounted on the ornately shaped pedestal on four round supports, with a reclining front panel with a handle and a lock, with carved pilasters on the lateral sides and inlaid veneered panel in the center. A box with six compartments for removable metal pinned disks is fixed on the front panel inner side.

    After putting one-penny coin and winding the spring, the mechanism is activated, the coin remains in the groove, the disk rotates, the pins touch the corresponding crawler wheels, which, in turn, touch the sound combs’ teeth, the melody starts to play.

    When half of the melody is played, the coin falls from the groove through the funnel into the box. The disk stops automatically. The case serves as a resonator. Nine discs are in the set.

    Music media: pinned metal disc.