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Four Tips to Start A Valuable Music Box Collection, Part I

Copyright 2006 Monique Hawkins Collecting music boxes such as carousel music boxes, music trinket boxes, children's jewelry boxes, and many other mechanical instruments and movements is a hobby loved by many a music box and antique collector. However, there are certain things music boxes and antique collectors can do to ensure they are getting a valuable piece for their collection. Here are a few tips to help in this process.

1. Make sure you truly are purchasing a valuable music box. There are some vendors who inflate the value of the item and in general are just unscrupulous. To protect yourself, first took carefully at the box. If it looks like new, be cautious since, unfortunately, some restorers have just cleared away all the originality. If the music box is old and pricey, you can usually find out who has restored it, how good it was, as well as check out the restorer's reputation.

2. If purchasing a fully restored music box, consider a preserved piece in an unrestored and original condition, as this will have much more value. While fully restored musical boxes look quite attractive, they very well maybe of less value that a preserved piece in an unrestored and original condition. For example, just about all key-wound music boxes made before 1850 were produced when quality was the priority. Typically, the more plain the case of a cylinder music box, the earlier it was made. Also, tune sheet forms are important and any absence decreases its value. Most antique and music box collectors prefer to have music boxes with the original sheets. So, remember these important points when considering purchasing a fully restored or unrestored music box.

3. Take a careful look at the front, sides, and back of music boxes made from the 1880's on. Many were made to look nice with a simple walnut veneer, but in reality a simple technique of brush-graining using scumble was done. In addition, the bells were cheap and had a high and untuned sound. So, these types of music boxes are best to avoid if seeking a box of value.

4. Look for music boxes with plain cases as an important point to consider since it is likely the date when it was manufactured was early. Another point to consider is the larger the movement relative to its case, the higher quality and value a music box has. While this may not be true in all cases, it is important to think about when assessing a music box's value. Collecting music boxes such as carousel music boxes, music trinket boxes, children's jewelry boxes, and many other mechanical instruments and movements is hobby loved by many a music box and antique collector. Following the above tips can greatly assist collectors in forming a valuable music box collection.


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