Most antique music boxes are old, but few are rare. Offered here is a piece from the earliest chapters in music box history – a rare sectional comb, key-wind musical box (weighing about 7 pounds) consisting of 20 sections with five teeth per section. Sectional comb boxes represent the earliest cylinder formats, made at a time when combs could not be made in one piece. These early music boxes are individual works of art, each with unique tune arrangements and distinguishing characteristics under the circumstances they were made. Not many survived the passage of time and it is uncommon to find one for sale. Most sectional combs are found in clocks, snuff boxes, jewelry boxes, and other boxes where the music was secondary to the function of the box. This musical box, however, served one function: to provide music. The result is the maker crafted a much longer cylinder, provided more teeth in the comb, and focused on the mechanical movement to provide higher quality music. This wood box is 12 wide x 4.25 deep x 3.25 high with the typical control levers on the left for stop/start, change/repeat and instant-stop. The casework for early sectional boxes is typically plain with the maker focusing on the musical mechanism, striving to produce the nicest music possible. I do not know if this wood box is original to the mechanical mechanism, but the lid is clearly not original. Even though the original plain, solid wood lid has been lost to history, some prior owner came up with a clever replacement featuring a unique glass lid to display this rare movement. While there are no identifying marks providing clues of the maker (which is common for these early music boxes), the key appears to be stamped with France and the number 11, but I do not know if the key is original to the movement. First, the good news: Amazingly, there are no broken orreplaced teeth (or tips) seen in any of the combs. Equally amazing, no broken or bent pins are seen in the 7-1/2 inch brass cylinder. The large 7-1/2 inch cylinder with 100 teeth (20 sections X 5 teeth per section) reflects the makers commitment to create a lovely musical movement. Now, the bad news: While the movement plays with no problem, it is full of damper squeaks. Someone once commented, Bad dampers typically express themselves as a squeak, and a box with bad dampers will squeak like theres a flock of crows inside. The flock of crows in this box can be heard here. Damper squeaks are common for early music boxes, and the dampers in this comb clearly need to be straightened (realigned) for one to enjoy the rich music this early movement has to offer. I never bothered with the dampers because I was happy just having a first-generation box to showcase the evolution of musical boxes. In spite of the damper squeaks, this is a unique opportunity to acquire a rare movement as it nears its two-century mark. No music box collection, large or small, should be without one of these first-generation wonders. This music box has been in a non-smoking home the last 20+ years (but I cant speak for the prior 150 years). The pictures were taken in different lighting to help accurately show this item. This musical box is offered with no “reserve” pricing. The item “Rare Antique Sectional Comb Keywind Music Box, circa 1835, NR, see YouTube video” is in sale since Sunday, January 5, 2020. This item is in the category “Collectibles\Decorative Collectibles\Music Boxes\Pre-1900″. The seller is “manti68ju5″ and is located in Brownsboro, Alabama. This item can be shipped to United States.
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