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

Novelty Music Box -STRAUSS ROSES DONAUWALZER- wind up music box by Vienna World

£13.56
End Date: Wednesday Oct-17-2018 21:23:07 BST
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Musical ceramic ornament Little Girl and her Dog plays Tea for Two

£15.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Oct-24-2018 16:36:10 BST
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Novelty Music Box -VIOLIN - play VIVALDI - wind up music box by Vienna World

£13.56
End Date: Wednesday Oct-17-2018 8:51:45 BST
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VINTAGE SMALL SWISS HOUSE MUSICAL BOX - Wooden - LADOR - Swiss Musical Movement

£6.90
End Date: Monday Nov-12-2018 19:52:14 GMT
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Vintage Musical Bottle Ballroom dancing couple working “SOME ENCHANTED EVENING”

£28.00
End Date: Tuesday Oct-23-2018 15:23:43 BST
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Vintage Steinbach,Germany wooden music box,Silent Night, Thorens Swiss movement.

£95.00
End Date: Sunday Nov-11-2018 15:58:04 GMT
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Vintage Musical Bottle plays Auld Lang Syne, VGC

£18.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Oct-17-2018 13:03:59 BST
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BOLS Vintage Ballerina Musical Bottle

£16.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Oct-17-2018 13:02:46 BST
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Rock Box Guitar Amp Style Packed Lunch Box Retro Music Novelty With Compartments

£9.99
End Date: Saturday Nov-10-2018 18:00:42 GMT
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Night light, Xmas 3D Illusion Lamp Novelty LED Table Desk Lamp 7 Color Changing

£13.99
End Date: Saturday Nov-10-2018 13:15:15 GMT
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SWISS CHALET vintage mini novelty music/musical box SWITZERLAND Schwyzer Klange

£29.99
End Date: Saturday Nov-10-2018 10:35:36 GMT
Buy It Now for only: £29.99
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Multifunction Wind Up Music Box Necklace Rings Jewelry Case Holder Container

£8.26
End Date: Friday Nov-9-2018 23:31:48 GMT
Buy It Now for only: £8.26
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Thorens Musical Cigarette Dispenser Novelty Radio Shape Parlez-moi D'amour o Sol

£35.00
End Date: Thursday Nov-8-2018 23:29:57 GMT
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Antique Round Mechanical Singing Bird In Cage Music Box

£295.00
End Date: Thursday Nov-8-2018 12:18:23 GMT
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Jester Jack In The Box In Tin Music Box Classic Retro Toy Gift Novelty Toddler

£17.99
End Date: Thursday Nov-8-2018 9:27:50 GMT
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New Novelty mug in a gift box, Guitar man mug, music mug

£7.95
End Date: Thursday Oct-18-2018 12:31:11 BST
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Juke Box Alarm Clock/Music Box Sound Design Lighted 6-Song tabletop Really works

$28.99
End Date: Tuesday Oct-23-2018 19:12:45 PDT
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How Dry I Am THIRST EXTINGUISHER NOVELTY DRINK SHAKER MUSIC BOX

$2.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Monday Oct-22-2018 17:46:04 PDT
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Vintage 1980s Dancing Elvis The King MSR Imports Music Trinket Box

$150.00
End Date: Wednesday Nov-14-2018 6:35:12 PST
Buy It Now for only: $150.00
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Novelty Music Box -STRAUSS ROSES DONAUWALZER- wind up music box by Vienna World

$17.82
End Date: Wednesday Oct-17-2018 13:23:07 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $17.82
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MagiDeal Novelty Wind Up Music Box Collectible for Make Up Accs Storage Case

$15.10
End Date: Tuesday Nov-13-2018 3:52:37 PST
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Novelty Music Box -VIOLIN - play VIVALDI - wind up music box by Vienna World

$17.82
End Date: Wednesday Oct-17-2018 0:51:45 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $17.82
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VINTAGE Novelty THIRST EXTINGUISHER Bar Decanter/MUSIC BOX FIREMAN'S

$17.95
End Date: Friday Oct-19-2018 16:17:26 PDT
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Very Rare Vintage Kim Novelties Happy Birthday Clown Music Box Cake Topper

$50.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Oct-21-2018 12:27:43 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $75.00
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YANMAR 100th Aniversary Memorial Music Box Diesel Engine Type Novelty Japan

$154.99
End Date: Friday Nov-9-2018 11:41:05 PST
Buy It Now for only: $154.99
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Vintage JAPAN Wooden Easter Novelty Music Conductor Toy Bobblehead

$1.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Oct-17-2018 12:15:31 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $5.00
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The Beatles - Franklin Mint - Working Music Box - READ DESCRIPTION

$12.99
End Date: Friday Nov-9-2018 6:43:32 PST
Buy It Now for only: $12.99
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Vintage Nursery Baby Music Box Works Tre-Mend Novelty Corp

$8.24
End Date: Sunday Nov-4-2018 13:51:44 PST
Buy It Now for only: $8.24
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New Toys and Novelty 2005 Jazzy Santa Plays Saxophone Jazz and Dance

$35.99
End Date: Friday Nov-2-2018 18:04:37 PDT
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Rare Motif Novelty Xmas Animated Wind Up Book Shaped Music Box

$18.00
End Date: Tuesday Oct-30-2018 19:43:27 PDT
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Vintage 1960s Thirst Extinguisher Music Box Novelty Bar Decanter Red Mid Century

$12.82
End Date: Monday Oct-29-2018 8:45:37 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $12.82
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Vintage Novelty Cigarette Lighter Music Box Combo Mans Face

$34.99
End Date: Sunday Oct-28-2018 5:22:07 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $34.99
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BEATLES - FRANKLIN MINT MUSIC BOX, MICHELLE IN ORIGINAL BOX/COA NICE!!

$49.99
End Date: Friday Oct-26-2018 12:53:31 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $49.99
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BEATLES - FRANKLIN MINT MUSIC BOX, YESTERDAY IN ORIGINAL BOX/COA NICE!!

$49.99
End Date: Friday Oct-26-2018 12:38:27 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $49.99
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BEATLES - FRANKLIN MINT MUSIC BOX, HEY JUDE IN ORIGINAL BOX/COA NICE!!

$49.99
End Date: Friday Oct-26-2018 12:29:51 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $49.99
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