Cylinder Musical Boxes

Coin-operated musical box with automaton

    Coin-operated musical box with automaton

    Switzerland, Sainte-Croix

    Late 19th century

    Auguste Lassueur

    Wood (walnut), shellac, metal, glass, fabric (silk, velvet); lathe, enamel, sewing, mechanical and carpentry work

    On the internal label: "Sublime Harmonie", “Tambour & Timbres" and list of names of eight tunes in French and German. On the sticker in blue vignette: M1346/”CLOCLO ON THE SEASAW about 1877”/”Watch Cloclo’s sisters dance – while the Drum and Orchestra play!!!”. English description of the musical movement


    Musical box in rectangular walnut veneered wooden case, mounted in the base with ornately shaped cutting out merging into corner feet. The case facade is made in the form of a door with glazed window. Rectangular lattice, tightened with a red cloth from the inner side is beneath the window. The window and the lattice are framed with backbands. The facade is decorated with black chiseled half-columns on the sides and wavy moulds both - above and below. Metal onlay with coin slot is on the left side. The lateral sides are with rows of round apertures and openwork acoustic lattices, tightened with red cloth from the inner side. An aperture for the crank with metal onlay is on the left lateral side. Three-sided balustrade with chiseled decorative elements is mounted on the top lid with wide black cornice. The backstage and harlequin (the proscenium border) from dark red fabric with golden fringe fixed set on the door inner side.

    Musical movement with double spring, pinned cylinder for eight tunes, compound sound comb, six bells with six mallets in the shape of multi-coloured butterflies and small drum is mounted inside the case. The melodies change automatically. The performed tune's number indicator is near the left tip of the cylinder. Paper label with handwritten list of melodies in art vignette, framed with golden braid is on the case rear panel inner side. Paper sticker with typewritten text describing the musical movement in English in blue vignette of the London Fortnum & Mason store is nearby. The site with two dancing female figures i multicolored dresses is on the foreground. Flip-flap in the shape of a swinging board covered with golden foil is mounted in the site centre. Figure of a young man sand colored short trousers, green jacket and beret is standing in the center. Figurines of bear cubs are standing on the site brink edges. The inner space is illuminated by electric bulb. The musical box is activated by a coin that is dropped in the coin selector slot.

    The crank, the pullout drawer key and the key that locks the door are in the set.