H: 12 in / 30 cm | W: 44 in / 111 cm | D: 17 in / 42 cmDescription
A Splendid Music Box, Numbered 20482
By B.A. Bremond of Geneva
The rectangular box, with a hinged lid, a drawer for the spare cylinders to the front, is constructed in amboyna, with boxwood stringing, and ebonised accents; there are four cylinders, each playing eight melodies, ranging from Tannhauser, to works by Gilbert and Sullivan, listed on the original cards, marked with the serial number; the crystal clear melodies have a device to give a mandolin-like enhancement operated by a lever; the number of the air playing is shown on a lyre marker to the rear centre, and has the maker’s plate. Several parts are stamped with the Bremond serial number. Musical boxes by Bremond are highly sought after instruments as well as works of art. They are to be found in numerous private and public collections, among them the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Switzerland, Circa 1880
B. A. Bremond of Geneva (active 1858-1916)
Founded in 1858, the Swiss firm of Baptiste Antoine Bremond was located at the Place des Alpes in Geneva. Born to a dynasty of fine jewellers, Bremond’s musical boxes convey exquisite skill and mastery. By 1873, Bremond was appointed manufacturer to HRH the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII). Bremond’s work, according to the expert Arthur W. J. G. Ord-Hume, “demonstrates not just beauty but sheer musical mastery.” His appointment as manufacturer to the court corresponded with the height of his career, and from 1878-1886 he was a town councillor of Geneva. Some of the finest musical boxes were made by Bremond in Switzerland and imported to England where the cases were made by renowned cabinetmakers.
See: Ord-Hume, Arthur W. J. G. Musical Box: A History and Collector's Guide. London: Allen & Unwin, 1980, pp. 69 (illus. fig. 14), 296, appendix II (illus. 11 & 14).