Music boxes: history and description of models

Music box – a vintage object that is associated with romance, antiques, full secrets and family stories of elegant antique. And in the music box really have some magic, special fler. The amazing thing from the past fits perfectly in modern interior, becoming bright decorative part. And the music box is an excellent gift and a way to surprise a loved one.

History of creation

The first music machines that resemble caskets are known from the early Middle Ages period. Excellent samples of such devices met in Byzantium and in some Arab countries of the East. To Europe Fashion for music boxes came in the XVIII century. And it is connected with the development of watch mechanisms. First, musical tobackerki appeared, which were subsequently transformed into the caskets.

For the first musical mechanism it is worth thanks to the Geneva watchmaker Antoine Fava. He embedded the mechanism in hours and, more interesting, in the bottle of spirits. Unique tobackerkees were compact and hid in his pocket easily. In 1815, the first factory began in Geneva, which specialized in the manufacture of caskets. Branches of this production soon arose in the US. But antique art could not reach us. “Great Depression”, which West was experiencing in the past century, did not leave the direction of chances. After a couple of dozen years, antique boxes began to be in demand, and these devices began to appear in business plans for entrepreneurs.

The first caskets were created on a metal disk, at the beginning of the XIX century a roller appeared in the mechanism. At the intersection of the XIX and XX centuries, automata on a paper puncher came to the market. These are the prefixes to the piano, which turned into pianarroductors: the high-tech device for that time the device was allowed to enjoy the game of famous pianists. Musicians game and recorded on a punched. But with such a technique, gramophones began to compete, they could reproduce the voice, and therefore won this battle. Today, music boxes with their melody are released for every taste: it can be storages for jewelry, which also sound. The models are attended by a variety of styles – from Heyteka to retro, from laconic and easy-to-design devices to full replicas of antique products.


In a standard music box of 4 bases: a handle, a cylinder with pins, and a flat comb and a bed (there are all the details on it). The product mechanism can be manual and clown. How easy it is to guess, a manual or crown device has to be twisted, and the mechanical sounds automatically. And although the second option seems easier, in fact, many lovers of similar retro-things prefer model with the handle that needs to be twisted.

How does it work:

  • The spinning handle rotates cylindrik with pins, those plucked the steel comb from numerous teeth, differing in length;
  • The handle or key of the spring mechanism that prolongs the playback of the melody.

And more complex products have another drum and small bells that make a melody expressive.

If the box is losing not alone, but several melodies, it means that there are more than one pin set in the device.

Principle of operation

Sounds are created by steel thin plates, distinguished long and thickness. They are located in an acoustic box in a certain sequence – a harmonic sound. To remove the sound from the box, you need to rotate the drum. It works like this: the pins on the drum are located respectively the intended melody. If you rotate the drum evenly, the pins will touch the record strictly in the desired sequence. And if the pins rearranged in some places, it turns out another melody.

Creating a musical structure – the process is just as elegant and painstaking, like the creation of music itself. For example, cylinder pins are created purely manually. Stage jewelry, because it can not be mechanized.

Important and quality steel, which is used for the production of comb.


Traditionally, music boxes were wooden. Only valuable wood breeds were used, therefore it is not surprising that unique products were transferred from generation to generation, and the time did not destroy them. They were exquisitely decorated, and there was basic competition between models: inlays with stones, ribbons, pearls, the use of expensive fabrics and ivory.

Competed with wooden samples Metal boxes. Other of them were a small chest of drawers with two, and even three boxes. Like a puppet product, it manilo and forced to open immediately all the boxes: the top tier was engaged in the mechanism of the box, and in the two lower two it was possible to store jewels.

Separate boxes were performed as a piano, a little later – as a gramophone. Modern mass production caskets look much more modest predecessors, but also in the price ratio they are more accessible. If you want to make a gift to an adult person, it must be a thing of a vintage sense, but girls up to 12 years old will be happy to take a gift and a modern casket of gentle shades with dancing ballerinas or, for example, unicorn.

Review manufacturers

If you are a collector of music boxes, then you will probably strive for all the grant production of these elegant products on your shelf. Swiss set a sense not only in the production of high-precision expensive hours, but also in creating music boxes. Take, such as a company Reuge Music: brand is already a half century. And the story of Charles Ruju’s watchmaker began, whose son has moved from a watch industry in the scope of fashionable music boxes.

Compacts with the Swiss brand Italian company Ercolando, the main hit of which is Model “White Glory”. To this day, the masters work manually, following the old technologies. No less beautiful choice will be boxes Hilltop, which are stylized for the best samples of the XVIII century. Can not complain about the abnormality and model of the company Jakos: True, there is no antique elegance. These are more laconic models, but everything with the same adorable themes – ballerinas, fairies, princesses, girls and bears.

Design options

And here the most interesting choice begins: what theme will be at the box, you will decide on the replicas of vintage products and more modern options. The most popular models are.

  • Piano. What is called classic genre. It will decorate the classic and neoclassical interior, will be a beautiful presented to the connoisseur retro and small elegant gifts. Great gift for music teacher.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean. The famous film in several parts inspires teenagers to this day. And if your child (or you yourself) is not averse to “shelter” at home such a fan little thing, pay attention to the brutal crushing boxes with the image of Jack Sparrow.

  • Two hearts. Romantic casket that is usually given in love, newlyweds or those who celebrate the anniversary of the wedding. Performed in different colors, the most popular has become a model in a dark case with a golden-red “core”.

  • Swan Lake. Boxes with elegant ballerinas – this is a recognizable image, loved by many generations. Excellent gift “From the past”. It has many variations.

  • With a dancing couple. Another classic option that can remind about the start of relationship, beautiful and carefree time. Winning gift for romantic agents.

Little casket is something intimate, warm, with a raid of antiquities and nostalgia by outgoing nature of wonderful times. It will be a reminder of bright golden, values ​​and uniqueness of the moment, the lifeful strength of music. And she will remind you who presented such a touching thing.

How to make a music box with your own hands, look in the video below.

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