Cylinder Musical Boxes

Automata musical box

    Automata musical box


    circa 1880

    Ebony, rosewood, tulipwood (poplar tulip), glass, amboyna, steel, brass; painting, engraving, varnishing, polishing, mechanical works

    80 х 50 х 40 cm; length of the nickel-plated cylinder 33 сm

    Marks: numbers from 1 to 12 on the melodies indicator, on the board right sight: “202”,“96”


    Automata music box made in mahogany veneer case, on a profiled base with four supports, with glazed rosewood and ebonized display cabinet with hand-cut bevelled and mirrored plate-glass insets. Fitted with silvered rococo carrying handles. The underside of the lid is veneered with amboyna and tulipwood. The borders and cross banding are edged with boxwood.

    The lever-wind movement plays 12 tunes as indicated by the lyre-shaped tune sheet. The nickel-plated cylinder has four combs with 15 organ notes at its center. Big bass drum has five padded sticks. There are engraved bells and castanets.

    The automata consists of three enchanting dancing dolls. The two on the outside have their hair dressed in pigtails and wear flared lace gowns. The central figure wears red dress with a lace collar. Her red hat matches her dress. When the music plays the figures dance on red mats in front of the glass.

    The percussion instruments can be modified by using the three levers in front of the comb: drums on/off, bells on/off, and castanets on/off.