Coin-operated musical box with automaton

    Coin-operated musical box with automaton

    Switzerland, Sainte-Croix

    Circa 1904

    Bornand Frères

    Wood, metal, glass, fabric; carving, carpentry and mechanical work, marquetry, varnishing, casting

    50 x 50 x 68 cm, 15 kg

    On the plate: “Bornand Frères”, “Ste Croix Swisse”


    Musical box is in the form of carousel in hexagonal case with glass facets fixed between chiselled black racks with phials above the top panel, on wooden socle with protruding profile base on six turned supports. Four sides of the plinth are decorated with polychrome ornaments in the shape of musical attributes, surrounded by branches in the marquetry technique. The drawer for coins with lock is on the front panel, wooden plate with the inscription “Bornand Frères / Ste Croix Swisse” is on the left panel. Ornately shaped onlay with winding crank and screw-shaped handle is on the rear panel, acoustic aperture covered with openwork slotted lattice with red fabric on the inner side is next to it. Onlay with coin slot is on the right chiselled rack. Merry-go-round with hipped roof made of green, yellow and red fabric, decorated with metal thread, lace ribbon and garlands of beads, pairs of horse riders and pigs on twisted golden suspensions and sledges in draperies decorated with thread and bugles, with seated figurines is on the socle upper panel covered with burgundy velvet. Mirror hexagonal column on cylindrical base is in the centre of the merry-go-round. Musical movement with spring motor, sound comb and pinned cylinder is mounted in the plinth. Musical movement and automaton are activated by the coin dropped in the slot of the coin acceptor.