Rare Swiss Grand Format Sublime Harmonie Piccolo Dinner Music Box stamped "C. Paillard et Co, Ste. Croix, Suisse", circa 1887, with 15 cylinders playing a total of 90 tunes, in finely decorated burl walnut chest. The hinged lid of the music box lifts to reveal the Sublime Harmony comb arrangement and brass cylinder, with running time of approximately 45 minutes on one wind. The fully operational movement is wound with a hand crank and set in motion by moving the small lever on the right from "STOP" to "PLAY." The lever above allows one to repeat a song or play the next on the cylinder, while the current song is indicated on a dial numbered one through six in the movement. The music box sits on a five-drawer inlaid burl walnut chest, the 14 additional brass interchangeable music cylinders are contained in four drawers. Accompanying the chest are four wooden travel boxes for storage and shipping, as well as four copies of the original 'dinner menu' program card showing the entire set of 90 tunes.
Size in inches: 51 h x 52.5 w x 24 d
Price upon request
A rare 19thC Swiss grand format Sublime Harmonie piccolo dinner music box
This is one of the world's largest music boxes and was made by C. Paillard & Company of Sainte-Croix, Switzerland, possibly for the Royal Jubilee Exhibition in Manchester in 1887.
The renowned music box maker Charles Paillard was known for his advancements in both music box mechanical production and musical sound. While most music boxes had a fixed cylinder, Paillard introduced interchangeable cylinders circa 1862 which enabled wealthy customers of the pre-photograph era to listen to a larger variety of tunes.
Cylinder music boxes produce sound by the use of a set of pins placed on a revolving cylinder, to pluck the teeth of a steel comb. Paillard introduced the Sublime Harmonie which uses two or more combs of equal scale, thereby increasing the volume of the music box without creating a harsh and tinny sound. The two combs are tuned alike, or with a slight intentional dissonance.
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