Lot Content

COVID-19 Important notice Read More
A fine forte-piano grand format musical box by Nicole Frères

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis
This lot is subject to Collection and Storage charges
A fine forte-piano grand format musical box by Nicole Frères

Details
A fine forte-piano grand format musical box by Nicole Frères No. 32031, playing four overtures (Barbier, Don Giovani, Somnambula and Pré aux Clercs), Gamme No. 1362, with lever wind, instant stop, and three-winged governor with screw speed control, the silvered tune plaque engraved for T. Cox, Savory & Co., 54 Cornhill, London, in brass and boxwood-strung rosewood veneered case with canted corners, inlaid on the front and lid with engraved brass, mother-of-pearl, blue, rose and tortoiseshell-red enamel in central cartouche and spandrels -- 29in. (74cm.) wide, the cylinder 16¾in. (43cm.) x 4in. (10cm.)
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis
This lot is subject to Collection and Storage charges

Lot Essay

Two grand format boxes with serial numbers in the same range have been sold at Christie's over the past ten years: lot 140 (Serial No. 32027) on 5th December 1991, and lot 26 (Serial No. 32025) on 6th August 1998. A third box was sold on 13th December 1990, lot 136 (Serial No. 35969), which had an accompanying letter fixing the date at 1860. This would date the present example to about 1856 by Bulleid's dating, with 32,000 early for a lever-wind movement.

The speed control consists of a friction plate beneath the governor-cock top-plate controlled by a small steel thumb screw, and is possibly not original though clearly os some age. The serial number appears on the tune plaque and the base, the gamme no. on the plaque only. The two combs have approximately 240 teeth. There is one replacement tooth in the piano comb, and some defective stringing and inlay, but overall the movement is in excellent playing condition with no signs of recent restoration.

;

More From MECHANICAL MUSIC, AUTOMATA, DOLLS AND DOLLS' HOUSES

View All