Last Updated: 10/7/2008


"Musical Boxes, A History and an Appreciation" by John E.T. Clark. Three Editions: First published in 1948 (Cornish Bros. Ltd); Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged in 1952 (Fountain Press); Third Edition in 1961 by George Allen & Unwin, London. Hard cover with dust jacket, 264 pages with 24 plates of black-and-white photographs. The book measures 9-3/4 inches (22.3 cm) high by 5-1/4 inches (14.2 cm) wide.

Text from the dustjacket of the Third Edition is as follows:

"This is the only book on the fascinating subject of musical boxes ever published in this country. Of special interest to all collectors, it will appeal also to others appreciative of beautiful craftsmanship and an art which is rare in this modern world.

The first edition was exhausted in a little over twelve months. In a review The Horological Journal reports:
'Particularly do we recommend Mr. Clark's book for its very complete list of British and Continental markers with the addresses and in many cases the accurate dates in which they worked. Mr. Clark writes from the personal experience of having been one who worked the best part of his life surrounded by musical boxes and with a personal acquaintance of the notable makers of his time.'

This third edition contains many additions to the list of makers and gives, furthermore, a list of trade marks and of other distinguishing marks or signs by which the maker of a musical box can be recognized, also some inaccuracies have been corrected and much further information added that will be of value both to the collector and the dealer.

Much additional information is given concerning Musical Snuff-boxes, Musical Clocks, Automata and both antique and modern singing birds together with particulars how to distinguish between antique and modern mechanical birds. A large percentage of the historical data and information has never before been published.

Mr. Clark's qualifications for writing such a book as this have added authority when it is pointed out that he was personally acquainted with many of the musical box makers and their agents in the later Victorian era. Thus, much of the information presented is of unique value. charts the development of these fascinating creations, from the invention of the first true music box in 1796 by Swiss watchmaker Anton Favre. The manufacture of music boxes gradually grew into a thriving industry, as the first type of music box - the cylinder box - was replaced in the 1880's by the mores sophisticated disc box which could make a louder sound, could play more tunes, and was less expensive. A few moments of examination can reveal a music box's origin and history. In outlining the technological developments and giving information on all the major music box manufacturers, Musi Boxes also describes changing fashions in sizes, shapes, and styles of boxes.

Among music boxes being produced today, there is a wide range of exciting choices, from small novelty boxes to handcrafted, limited editions. Music Boxes shows you the wealth of modern and antique boxes available to collectors, and gives thorough instructions on how to clean and care for your treasured pieces."

  1. Small Musical Movements
  2. Large Musical Boxes
  3. Disc Machines
  4. Nicole-Freres
  5. Some Collections
  6. Earlier Forms of Mechanical Music
  7. Various Types of Musial Box
  8. A Word For Collectors
  9. Care of a Musical Box
Appendix - Makers of Musical Boxes

e-mail me now to reserve this book

Return to: Bill Wineburgh's Home Page