Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Box with musical movement

    Box with musical movement

    Austria, Wien

    circa 1890

    Joseph Olbrich

    Bronze, rock crystal, brass, steel, enamel; engraving, gem stones setting, gilding, polishing, champlevé enamel

    17.5 x 25 x 15 cm

    On the movement: “Jos. Olbrich in Wien”; scratched on the inner surface: “PWC” (triply), “ARTER”, “Е15”


    Rectangular, large and very heavy ormolu, enamelled and jewelled musical jewellery box with rounded ribs, on four round feet, with a hinged lid, a lock and a key. Polished field with engraved floral ornament with elements of red champlevé enamel and rock crystals in combination with geometric ornament made of blue stone chips is on the lid and side surfaces. A lock with a key that opens the lid is on the front panel. A removable panel with four compartments for small items is under the lid that is covered with blue velvet from inside. The lid and case welts’ inner surfaces are decorated with engraved foliage ornament, inscriptions are on the front side, a music movement covered with an openwork engraved lattice with images of music instruments and volutes at the case bottom. Key for the music movement spring winding is on the right lateral panel. Fixing screws’ heads with washers are on the bottom panel. A chain with a ball is on one of the feet. Music movement with a spring mechanism, a program brass cylinder with pins, steel sound comb and the manufacturer's mark "Jos. Olbrich in Wien" is activated on when the lid is opened and performs three tunes with fine quality, changing them automatically. Joseph Maria Olbrich (1867-1908), Austrian and German architect and designer, one of the founders of the Art Nouveau style, the founder (together with Gustav Klimt, Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser) of the Vienna Secession.