Objects with musical mechanism and automaton

Music box

    Music box


    circa 1820

    Bronze, steel, brass, mother-of-pearl; casting, engraving, chasing, gilding

    18.0 x 10.5 x 10.0 cm, 495 gr

    On the movement: "18"


    A box in a form of a of a miniature Clavichord-shaped box on four elegant lion's paw feet. The case is made in a form of an openwork frame of gilded bronze with mother-of-pearl inserts. Metal framing is decorated with chasing with foliage pattern and cast lyre-shaped inserts. Engraved foliage rim is on the mother-of-pearl elements of the top side. The engraving on mother-of-pearls on the lateral sides depicts musical instruments and scrolls of sheet music surrounded by branches and leaves. A keyhole with cast onlay is on the front side. A keyhole is on the bottom side. The front panel upper half hinges up. It opens the keyboard and a small box for the winding key that is closed with square mother-of-pearl lid with gilded knob. Clavichord keys are made of mother-of-pearl and gilded metal. Musical movement with sound comb and cylinder for two tunes. The movement is controlled with the groups of keys on the right side of the keyboard. The left group switches on the first tune, the middle one - the second tune and the right one - the third tune. Two keys are in the set: one for locking the box lid, the other one – for winding.

    The item refers to the era of the French King Charles X (1757 - 1836). This is the typical item of the so-called “Ormolu and engraved mother-of-pearl” style. Such items were produced by Parisian masters in the early 19th century and were sold in fashion boutiques “PALAIS ROYAL”, near the Louvre.