A music box is a automatic, often wind-up musical instrument that produces tones by a set of pins placed on a slowly turning disc or cylinder so as to strike the teeth of a steel comb.

They were developed from 18th century musical snuff boxes and used to be called: carillons à musique.

Some of the more complex boxes also have a tiny drum and small bells, in addition to the metal tuned comb. Alec Templeton, a Welsh composer, pianist and collector of musical boxes, once said that tones of a musical box is unlike that of any other instrument. He said it is best described as somewhere between the character of a mbira.

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Music Box value and price guide

What's your 'Music Box' worth? Here are some recently sold items (USA).

Picture Title Date Sold for
Flajoulot Singing Bird Box Automaton Flajoulot Singing Bird Box Automaton 09/2019 $9 485.00
Reuge 15 Song Interchangeable Cylinder Reuge 15 Song Interchangeable Cylinder 09/2019 $7 995.00
Regina 15 5 Double Comb Disc 61 Discs Regina 15 5 Double Comb Disc 61 Discs 11/2019 $4 400.00
Reuge Enamel Lapis Singing Bird Box Reuge Enamel Lapis Singing Bird Box 10/2019 $4 250.00
Large French 2 Singing Birds In Cage Large French 2 Singing Birds In Cage 10/2019 $3 199.00

See all sold items for more prices.

Music Box forum

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1 comment
Jamie - June 16, 2018
I have a yellow pooh bear music box I cannot find any information on it its a huge yellow box with a handle for children its like a busy box but it only has pictures that move.