Disc Musical Boxes

Disc musical box “Polyphon No4”

    Disc musical box “Polyphon No4”

    Germany, Leipzig

    Circa 1900

    Polyphon Musikwerke

    Wood, metal, glass, paper; mechanical work and carpentry, casting, carving, turning

    74 x 45 x 149 cm; stand 84 x 30 x 85 cm; disc diameter 50 cm, 70 kg

    On the finial: “Polyphon”, on the nameplate: “5 Pfennig”


    Disc music box mounted in vertical, rectangular walnut veneered wooden case. A door with the arched glazed window is façade. Channelled ornately shaped half-columns are on the window sides. Ornately shaped acoustic window closed by openwork fretwork lattice in the Modern style. Cambered finial with carved gilded inscription “Polyphon” and chiselled cones on the corners is above protruding roundish moulding. Cast onlay above the coin selector and nameplate with the inscription: “5 Pfennig” are on the door right side. Manual in German in wooden frame is below the window. Narrow frames with compartments for the cards with the tunes’ names are on the door inner side.

    A groove is made in the door bottom part, in which the disc selection joystick moves. A shaft for the crank in cast decorative rosette is on the case right lateral side, onlay with the keyhole is near it. The musical movement casing serves as an acoustic resonator. Sliding carriage with pullout box for coins is fixed on the case bottom side. Disc music box is mounted on wooden pedestal with façade in the form of hinged panelled door with the handle-bracket, dead lock and carved pilasters on the sides. The drawer with compartments for exchangeable pinned discs is attached to the door inner side.

    When a coin is dropped and the spring is tightened up, the movement is activated; the disc is automatically set on axis, fixed with clamping bar and starts rotating. The pins hit the corresponding star wheels that, in turn, touch the sound comb teeth in definite order and a melody sounds. Winding crank, key and ten pinned discs are in the set.

    Music media: 50 cm diameter pinned metal discs.