Disc Musical Boxes

Coin operated disc music box “Orphenion”

    Coin operated disc music box “Orphenion”

    Germany, Leipzig

    Circa 1900

    Orphenion - Musikwerke Seiler, Müller & Hensch

    Wood, metal, glass; carpentry and mechanical work

    94 x 66 x 282 cm, 155 kg

    On the nameplate above the door: ”Musik Automat”; on play back mode select switch: “SPIELT/MAL”; on musical movement chassis: “ORPHENION”


    Disc music box is mounted in vertical rectangular fine wood veneered wooden case. A door with an arched glazed window is its facade. The glass is rimmed with carved openwork black wooden frame. Fluted columns with Ionic capitals, resting on chiselled carved stands are on the door sides. Three sides of the case upper part are decorated with full entablature with architrave, frieze and cornice. Metal nameplate with the inscription ”Musik Automat” is above the door. The case is crowned with the hipped convex roof with four-sided phial in the center. The roof is fixed on four chiselled racks and closes acoustic window. Coin slot, keyhole and an aperture for play back mode select switch, decorated with metal cast onlays are on the right lateral side. Spring movement covered with glass casing is fixed inside the case. It is activated by the dropped coin. An aperture for winding crank is in the upper casing glass. Musical movement on cast mounting plate, with two pairs of sound combs, axis and guiding pulley for pinned disc, clamping rod and sprocket wheel is fixed on the case rear side. The case as the acoustic resonator. Musical disc box is mounted on wooden stand with the facade in the form of a hinged paneled door with cast handle, mortise lock and ornately shaped carved consoles on the sides. Foldable box for storage of exchangeable pinned discs is fixed to the door inner side. The drawer for coins is fixed in the case upper right inner corner. When the spring movement is winded and the coin is dropped in, the pinned disc, mounted on the axle and fixed by the clamping rod, begins to rotate. The pins on the disc rear side make teeth of the sound comb sound in definite order. Winding crank, two keys and fifteen exchangeable pinned discs are in the set. Music media: 66 cm diameter metal disc.