Rare Antique Interchangeable Organ
Music box by Ducommun Girod, c. 1845
A magnificent and rare early interchangeable antique music box made by
Ducommun Girod of Geneva, Switzerland in c. 1845.
Both the case and the
movement are striking in their complexity and their originality. It is
a wonderful example of its kind.
The musical movement features an 18-note
reed organ and single comb arrangement which plays with an excellent
and complex sound.
There are six cylinders, all 7cm in diameter, each
of which plays a selection of 6 operatic airs. These include tunes from:
The Marriage of Figaro
The Barber of Seville
Lucie de Lammermoor
This is only a selection of this
music box’s repertoire. The full list is detailed on the original
engraved silvered tunesheet. Each cylinder is numbered and correlates
with the tunesheet.
The changing mechanism for these cylinders is noticably
early, at a stage when they were clearly still experimenting with the
most effective mechanisms, and as such it is a delicate operation that
requires careful attention, but we have provided a recent invention for
handling the cylinders (as opposed to the glove buttonhooks they most
probably used to lift them originally) which makes the process considerably
Each of the cylinders is housed inside a drawer in the base of
The case is an absolute joy to behold.
There are highly intricate
and multi-coloured enamel inlays to the lid, front of the case, and top
of the base. The table also features canted corners and turned ebonised
This music box is one of the earliest examples of an interchangeable
music box ever made. It is of the finest quality and is an extremely
rare and beautiful item.
about this music box
31” / 79cm
40” / 102cm
21” / 53cm