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):

Item Title Date sold Price
Singing Bird Box Automaton Music Box Mar 2019 £ 3 821,30
Rare Swiss Singing Bird Box Music Box Apr 2019 £ 2 907,34
Early 1900's Regina Music Box Serial No Mar 2019 £ 2 481,88
Swiss Cylinder Music Box 2 Dancers 3 Apr 2019 £ 1 437,91
Stella 15 1 2 Music Box Eptional Ornate May 2019 £ 1 418,22
See all sold items for more prices

If you're not sure what you have, you can post your question below.

Music Box forum (1 comment)

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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.