Buying an Antique Music Box Can Be Quite Mystifying
Buying an antique music box can be quite mystifying and, would also involve a good deal of money as well as require knowing what actually lies beneath the hood. One may need to compare different brands as well as take into account repairs and, estimate for the same and, also know whether it is in need of a complete overhaul or only needs oiling. Antique music boxes could be of two types - cylinder music boxes or disc music boxes.
Swiss Music Boxes
Around the year 1840, cylinder music boxes first began to appear though, music watches had preceded them by a few decades and, such boxes were being made in a small part of Switzerland and, hence are known as Swiss music boxes. But, they were made in miniscule quantities in France as well as Czechoslovakia, though they may still be referred to as Swiss music boxes. Switzerland was the home of the watch industry and, was thus capable of making precision instruments of which these cylinder music boxes were a good example.
On the other hand, disc antique music boxes appeared a few decades later around the 1890s and, were cheaper alternatives to the cylinder antique music boxes. They were economical to produce and had interchangeable discs and, the first to produce them was Symphonion. Together with Polyphon, these two dominated Europe and, then came Regina and they were very popular till 1905, when changing tastes as well as the talking machine, put paid to their use.
Often, the antique music box will require repairs and, one should be prepared for a good deal of inconvenience in this regard and, should not pay anyone to repair the antique music box, since the cost would exceed its value. Also, the number of people capable of repairing antique music boxes is only a handful but, they will be able to get it to work properly. Locating them may be quite difficult but, they are, nevertheless, the last source for repairing boxes of great sentimental value or which have enormous value, and thus need to be repaired.
Finding a person to repair an old antique music box that only requires piecework is pretty tough as there are not many takers for it. In addition, the parts must all be handmade and thus may, in most cases, require collaborating with skilled machinists; thus making it pretty cost prohibitive. Repairing the antique music box would require getting different items such as combwork, cylinder repinning, dampers, governors, mainsprings, and cases to be fixed, which could be quite a difficult task to accomplish.