The Wedding March: Antique Nicole Freres Music Box
A magnificent interchangeable antique music box on table made by Nicole Freres of Geneva, Switzerland in c. 1890, serial number 51624. This superb music box comes with 6 interchangeable cylinders, each of which plays 8 tunes as detailed on the original tunesheets mounted to the inside of the lid. The cylinder numbers detailed on the tunesheets correspond to the numbers stamped on the cylinders. The musical movement features 8 bells surmounted by bird finials, together with a central tune indicator showing which tune is playing; a zither bar; 2 extra large spring barrels; speed control; a tune selector (which allows you to select which tune on the cylinder you wish to hear); and a lever to engage or disengage the bells at will. The combs have an unusual ‘mandolin piccolo’ arrangement which gives the music a particularly nice, rich sound. The mechanical movement is significantly more complex than music boxes with only one cylinder – it is an impressive piece of engineering.
The selection of music is excellent, with five cylinders playing operatic and popular tunes, and one cylinder playing sacred music. This is all housed in the finest quality case, veneered in burr walnut and thuya wood with satinwood veneer to the interior of the lid and to the dustlid, and gilt bronze carrying handles. With the initials ‘YLJ’ very finely inlaid to the lid of the case, this was most probably originally made as a special commission. This sits on a custom-made table with two drawers to house the cylinders. In total, this is a magnificent, top-quality and rare music box.