Direkt zum Inhalt Direkt zur Hauptnavigation

Swiss musical boxes

We all love to listen to recorded music, whether it is on your phone, CDs, tapes or LPs but you should really hear the sound of swiss musical boxes.

Mechanische Musikinstrumente

Swiss musical boxes with a timeless sound

Before the inventions of records, CDs, and the ever-changing field of digital music, music boxes of all kinds provided people with the possibility to listen to songs and melodies in their own home.
Particularly appreciated were products from Switzerland, loved for their quality and detailed design. We are pleased to present some of these rarities in our 160th public auction.


A taste for magical melodies

Some say that music recorded on a physical medium such as an LP record sounds in some way “warmer” than digitally recorded sound…Imagine how much warmer it would be to listen to some of the first reliably recorded music?

Singing bird box by Karl Griesbaum

Musical Art-Noveau gilt wedding casket by Sankyo


The history of swiss musical boxes

Appearing around 1800, came the musical boxes - a logical extension of the musical clock which chimed the hours. It was for this reason that the main music box industry was based in Switzerland.
A finely made and looked after musical box is a beautiful thing, an antique intricate mechanical spring powered mass of turning gears which through precise engineering creates delicate and harmonious music.

Piano form musical cigarette box by Lador

Musical key by Jules Cuendet

Impressively large lever wind eight air part-orchestral interchangeable music box by Samuel Troll


Three kinds of music boxes

Musical boxes are divided by their movement: First came the Barrilet (circa 1800 -1830) then the Sur-plateau (circa 1805-1825) and finally the cylinder movement which first arrived in 1818. And while it was repeatedly replaced, first by musical discs (metal records) in 1891, then by LP records and finally by CDs, some small firms continue to make them to this day.

Six air music box by Nicole Frerés

A late lever wind eight air music box by A.Rivenc

Lever wind eight air music box by Nicole Frerés

There is something quite remarkable about items of mechanical music: it does not matter in the slightest if the item in question is a mechanical automata that plays a banjo or a simple musical box playing a merry little tune - it never fails to put a smile on someone’s face.

Music boxes in the upcoming auction

We would love to get in contact with you if you have any of the following instruments and are thinking about selling: any type of musical boxes, musical snuff boxes, musical disc players, singing bird boxes, automata, barrel organs and mechanical pianos.

Have a listen and fall in love with the mechanical marvel of music boxes! Use the opportunity provided by our 160th public auction (from the 7th to 11th of November 2017) to pick us some treasures. All lots can be viewed in our premises a week before the auction from the 30th of October 2017. Print catalogues can be ordered free of charge at +49 (0)111-550 440.

Our newsletter subscribers are immediately informed of new offers and special items in upcoming auctions, subscribe now to receive this benefit.

Selling mechanical music

Do you have mechanical music that you would like to sell?
Please talk to our experts to find out how to secure the best price for your material.

Counselling and estimates by Auktionshaus Felzmann are without charges.
Please call +49 (0) 211 550 440 or write to info@felzmann.de

Information on the following subjects can be found here:

How to submit material for auction