A music box is a automatic, often wind-up musical instrument that produces tones by a set of pins placed on a slowly turning disc or cylinder so as to strike the teeth of a steel comb.

They were developed from 18th century musical snuff boxes and used to be called: carillons à musique.

Some of the more complex boxes also have a tiny drum and small bells, in addition to the metal tuned comb. Alec Templeton, a Welsh composer, pianist and collector of musical boxes, once said that tones of a musical box is unlike that of any other instrument. He said it is best described as somewhere between the character of a mbira.

Music Box value and price guide

What's your 'Music Box' worth? Here are some recently sold items (UK).

Picture Title Date Sold for
Flajoulot Singing Bird Box Automaton 09/2019 £7 423.20
Reuge 15 Song Interchangeable Cylinder 09/2019 £6 257.09
Enamel Singing Bird Box Automaton 08/2019 £4 691.84
Reuge 10 Song Interchangeable Cylinder 09/2019 £2 073.96
Rare Reuge 5 Song Interchangeable 08/2019 £1 800.03

See all sold items for more prices.

Music Box forum

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1 comment

Jamie - June 16, 2018
I have a yellow pooh bear music box I cannot find any information on it its a huge yellow box with a handle for children its like a busy box but it only has pictures that move.