Novelty Music Boxes

Price guide to novelty music boxes. Music boxes come in all shapes and sizes. This post looks at music boxes with unusual shapes and purposes.

Imperial gilt-bronze archaistic ritual bell
A rare Imperial gilt-bronze archaistic ritual bell, bianzhong Kangxi cast mark, dated to the 54th year corresponding to 1715 and of the period Heavily cast in barrel form, surmounted by a robust double-headed dragon handle, each dragon powerfully modelled with bulging eyes, flaring nostrils and opened jaws revealing tongue and fangs, the details of their manes and scales beautifully rendered in realism, the bulging sides cast with four vertical panels at the cardinal directions, the front panel enclosing Kangxi wushisi nianzhi seven-character reign mark between taiji and yin emblems, the reverse with a two-character inscription nanlü, further flanked on each side panel with raised archaistic dragons set between ruyi and keyfret motifs, all perpendicular to five alternating horizontal bands of raised bosses and pairs of trigrams, all above eight circular disks, box. 31cm (12 1/4in) high The Qing Court followed Confucian ideals as set out in ancient Chinese classics such as the Book of Rites, Zhou Li, which advocated that rituals should commence with music. Court protocol required that certain musical instruments, including a set of sixteen gilt-bronze bells, bianzhong, be used during state rituals (particularly in the Temple of Heaven and Temple of Agriculture), Court assemblies, formal banquets and processions of the Imperial Guard. The gilt-bronze ritual bells, bianzhong, were therefore an essential part of the Qing Court ceremonies. For an example of the use of the bells, see a painting by the Court painter Giuseppe Casiglione, circa 1755, titled ‘Imperial Banquet in Wanshu [Ten Thousand Trees] Garden’, illustrated by C.Ho and B.Bronson, Splendors of China’s Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong, Chicago, 2004, pp.92-93, no.101. The present lot would have been part of a graduated set of sixteen ritual bells, suspended on sturdy wooden frames in two tiers of eight, each cast in varied thickness to provide a range of twelve musical tones, shierlu (十二律), with four additional repeated notes in lower octaves. These varying tones are cast on the reverse panels of each bell in the following sequence: huangzhong (黃鐘), dalü (大呂), taicu (太簇), jiazhong (夾鐘), guxi (姑洗), zhonglü (仲呂), ruibin (蕤賓), linzhong (林鐘), yize (夷則), nanlü (南呂) (as on the present lot), wuyi (無射), and yingzhong (應鐘). The nanlü tone corresponds to the musical scale of major sixth or the note ‘A’. The heavily-cast bell, comprising the Eight Trigams around the exterior, is inspired in form by archaic bells of the Western Zhou dynasty (1100-771 BC ), evoking antiquity and continuity. For an example of archaic prototypes excavated from the tomb of the Marquis Zeng, in the Hubei Provincial Museum, see L.von Falkenhausen, Suspended Music: Chime Bells in the Culture of Bronze Age China, California, 1993, p.6, fig.1. The double-headed dragon handle surmounting the bell is known as pulao (蒲牢), which according to Chinese legend is one of the nine sons of the dragon. Pulao first appeared in Chinese literature during the Tang dynasty. The Tang dynasty scholar Li Shan (630-689) wrote ‘there is a whale in the sea and a creature called pulao at the shores. Pulao is always afraid of the whale, so whenever the whale attacks, pulao will roar loudly.’ The form of the bell therefore incorporates the legend as an additional mythical layer, whereby the impact of the striker – the whale – with the bell – pulao – would result in the dragon producing it loud ringing roar. Sold for HK$ 2,440,000 (£ 220,028) inc. premium at Bonhams in 2016

Vintage collectable novelty music box - plays Around the world in 80 days

£29.00
End Date: Tuesday Jun-26-2018 10:34:35 BST
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Novelty Music Box Mini Sewing Machine Style Table Decor Active Birthday Gift

£7.39
End Date: Monday Jun-18-2018 12:35:55 BST
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BALLERINA MUSIC BOX TRADITIONAL WOODEN TOY gift novelty girls childs classic

£12.49
End Date: Monday Jun-11-2018 17:07:04 BST
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MUSIC BOX NOVELTY SEWING MACHINE WIND UP ALL PARTS MOVE WHEN PLAYING OPEN DRAWER

£15.95
End Date: Monday Jun-18-2018 15:54:23 BST
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Totoro Spiral Spring Wooden Music Box Vintage Music Box Novelty Present Gift

£6.99
End Date: Monday Jun-4-2018 5:21:46 BST
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Totoro Spiral Spring Wooden Music Box Vintage Music Box Novelty Present Gift

£6.99
End Date: Monday Jun-4-2018 5:21:46 BST
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Inflatable/ Novelty Blow Up Boom Box Music Player Fancy Dress Prop 37 x 28cm

£2.70
End Date: Saturday Jun-23-2018 12:27:13 BST
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Totoro Spiral Spring Wooden Music Box Vintage Music Box Novelty Present Gift

£6.99
End Date: Monday Jun-4-2018 5:21:46 BST
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Inflatable Blow Up Boom Box Music Player Ghetto Blaster Novelty Fancy Dress Prop

£2.49
End Date: Wednesday Jun-13-2018 14:39:02 BST
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ELECTRIC GUITAR MUSIC NOVELTY CUFFLINKS MENS LADIES GIFT KITSCH BLACK WHITE

£5.79
End Date: Monday Jun-11-2018 23:11:21 BST
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Harry Potter Theme Engraved Wooden Music Box Crafts Toys Vintage Novelty Gifts

£7.99
End Date: Wednesday Jun-20-2018 11:06:38 BST
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MUSICIAN GIFT - NOVELTY MUSIC CLOCK-"TREBLE CLEF STYLE" in SATIN SILVER in a BOX

£14.99
End Date: Friday Jun-8-2018 14:51:11 BST
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Novelty Chrome & Black TURNTABLE & HEADPHONES Cufflinks DJ MUSIC Gift Boxed UK

£4.99
End Date: Tuesday May-29-2018 11:39:16 BST
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NOVELTY VIOLIN MUSIC INSTRUMENT CUFFLINKS MENS SILVER SHIRT XMAS GIFT BOX NEW UK

£2.30
End Date: Saturday Jun-9-2018 15:09:23 BST
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SWISS CHALET vintage mini novelty music/musical box SWITZERLAND Schwyzer Klange

£29.99
End Date: Saturday Jun-9-2018 14:24:09 BST
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Totoro Spiral Spring Wooden Music Box Vintage Music Box Novelty Present Gift

£6.99
End Date: Monday Jun-4-2018 5:21:46 BST
Buy It Now for only: £6.99
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Totoro Spiral Spring Wooden Music Box Vintage Music Box Novelty Present Gift

£6.99
End Date: Monday Jun-4-2018 5:21:46 BST
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VINTAGE NOVELTY MUSICAL BOX WOODEN CASE NEEDS PLAYER SPARE AND REPAIRS

£17.00
End Date: Thursday Jun-14-2018 18:25:15 BST
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Pink Floyd Cd Clock personalise free stand, gift box, Birthday, Music, Novelty

£9.85
End Date: Thursday Jun-14-2018 17:52:42 BST
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Novelty Mechanical Sewing Machine Music Box w. Jewelry Drawer Clockwork Toy

£8.17
End Date: Saturday Jun-23-2018 20:29:49 BST
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Yap's 1984 Novelty Vanity Mirror Music Box Jingle Bells Santa Vintage Christmas

$7.52
End Date: Saturday Jun-2-2018 19:28:28 PDT
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NO! NO!Sound Button Music Box Novelty Gag Toy Event Party Supplies Decor US

$5.99
End Date: Tuesday Jun-19-2018 18:45:14 PDT
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Novelty Hand Crank Music Box Kikkerland Wind-Up Melody Gift New Various Melodies

$6.59
End Date: Thursday Jun-21-2018 11:06:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $6.59
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Novelty Hand Crank Music Box Kikkerland Wind-Up Melody Gift New Various Melodies

$7.19
End Date: Thursday Jun-21-2018 11:06:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7.19
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Vintage LADOR Music Box Novelty Match Dispenser/Holder

$19.99
End Date: Saturday Jun-9-2018 18:09:04 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $19.99
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Novelty Hand Crank Music Box Kikkerland Wind-Up Melody Gift New Various Melodies

$7.19
End Date: Thursday Jun-21-2018 11:06:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7.19
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Novelty Hand Crank Music Box Kikkerland Wind-Up Melody Gift New Various Melodies

$7.19
End Date: Thursday Jun-21-2018 11:06:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7.19
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Novelty Hand Crank Music Box Kikkerland Wind-Up Melody Gift New Various Melodies

$7.19
End Date: Thursday Jun-21-2018 11:06:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7.19
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NO!NO!New Hot Sound Button Music Box Novelty Gag Toy Event Party Supplies Decor

$6.56
End Date: Friday Jun-15-2018 18:38:07 PDT
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Novelty Hand Crank Music Box Kikkerland Wind-Up Melody Gift New Various Melodies

$7.19
End Date: Thursday Jun-21-2018 11:06:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7.19
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Novelty Hand Crank Music Box Kikkerland Wind-Up Melody Gift New Various Melodies

$7.19
End Date: Thursday Jun-21-2018 11:06:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7.19
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NO! NO!Sound Button Music Box Novelty Gag Toy Event Party Supplies Decor New Hot

$3.99
End Date: Sunday May-27-2018 23:17:51 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $3.99
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Novelty Hand Crank Music Box Kikkerland Wind-Up Melody Gift New Various Melodies

$7.19
End Date: Thursday Jun-21-2018 11:06:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7.19
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Vintage Hummel style music box boy girl made in Japan novelty collectible

$29.99
End Date: Tuesday Jun-5-2018 0:03:17 PDT
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NO! NO!Sound Button Music Box Novelty Gag Toy Event Party Supplies Decor USA

$5.69
End Date: Thursday Jun-21-2018 1:19:19 PDT
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US No Sound Button Music Box Novelty Gag Toys Event Party Supplies Anti Stress

$8.26
End Date: Monday Jun-11-2018 22:59:39 PDT
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Novelty Hand Crank Music Box Kikkerland Wind-Up Melody Gift New Various Melodies

$7.19
End Date: Thursday Jun-21-2018 11:06:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7.19
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Novelty Hand Crank Music Box Kikkerland Wind-Up Melody Gift New Various Melodies

$7.19
End Date: Thursday Jun-21-2018 11:06:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7.19
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Novelty Hand Crank Music Box Kikkerland Wind-Up Melody Gift New Various Melodies

$6.59
End Date: Thursday Jun-21-2018 11:06:05 PDT
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Rare Motif Novelty Xmas Animated Wind Up Book Shaped Music Box

$18.00
End Date: Friday Jun-1-2018 19:56:20 PDT
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