Last Updated: 10/6/2008

"Alec Templeton's Music Boxes," as told to Rachael Bail Baumel. Published in 1958 by Wilfred Funk, NY. Hard cover with dust jacket, 164 pages with 26 photographs of the collection. The book measures 8-7/16 inches (21.4 cm) high by 5-5/8 inches (14.3 cm) wide.

Text from the dustjacket is as follows:

"In 1937 in Galveston, Alec Templeton heard a music box for the first time since he was a child in Wales, and the story of his unusual collection of more than a hundred music boxes really begins from that moment. As a boy he had loved music boxes because of their unique sound, which cannot be duplicated by any other instrument. And today, amid the rush and hurry of modern life, he loves them for their relaxing, old-fashioned quality.

Most people think of music boxes as tinkling little things, but for Alec Templeton and his wife, Julie, the only ones that sound tinkly are the modern novelty boxes. The big antique music boxes are sonorous, strong and powerful. They have a genuinely antique musical sound with a slightly off-key charm. These large old boxes have a varied repertoire, too. They may play as many as fifty different tunes, and this is only reasonable because, after all, they were juke boxes of yesteryear.

Music boxes were first developed by the Swiss watchmakers during the eighteenth century, and they reached their peak of popularity in the late nineteenth century here in America, just before they were superseded by the invention of the phonograph. The music boxes in the Templeton home include all sizes, shapes and keys. There are musical decanters, sewing boxes, dressing cases, a musical chair that plays when sat upon, two Royal Doulton Toby jugs, two large boxes built on their own tables, and an enormous gay nineties coin-operated juke box type.

...The stories behind these boxes, as well as the stories of the countries and cultures in which the craft of making music boxes flourished, the reasons why Alec Templeton cherishes them, and his adventures in acquiring them are the basis of this entertaining book."

    The History of Music Boxes
    My Favorite Music Boxes
    What Makes a Music Box Go
    The Modern Music Box Yen
    The House of Chiming Clocks
    Christmas at Stornello

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