Music box

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.

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Music Box value and price guide

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

Picture Title Date Price
rare french silver gilt musical snuff box 1800s Rare French Silver Gilt Musical Snuff Box 1800s... 05/2021 £3 966.82
karl griesbaum singing bird in cage automaton Karl Griesbaum Singing Bird In Cage Automaton... 06/2021 £3 526.87
bontems singing bird music box automaton Bontems Singing Bird Music Box Automaton... 07/2021 £2 739.99
allard sublime harmony fully restored music box c Allard Sublime Harmony Fully Restored Music Box C... 05/2021 £2 250.00
swiss reuge 72 music box crystal clear glass case Swiss Reuge 72 Music Box Crystal Clear Glass Case... 06/2021 £1 767.04
no pictureSee all sold items on eBay for more prices08/2021£-.--

Music Box forum

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Comments (2)
Marie - December 22, 2020
I am looking for a vintage music box featuring a tiny revolving rocking horse. I purchased a similar item back in the late 1970s early 1980s & unfortunately it has been lost. If anyone can be of assistance it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so very much.
Well, that would be difficult... You could have a look here, maybe you can find yours: Music box with horse.
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.