Collecting music boxes is a great past time. Especially since your hobby can produce some of the most delightful music ever heard. Millions of people over the centuries have loved the unique tinkling musical notes that have eminated from plain or elaborate musical boxes. Collecting music boxes is not really that difficult either and we’ll show you how to go about starting your own collection.
The original music box was simply developed from musical snuff boxes of the 18th century and were called “carillons musique”. The tinkling music is produced by a set of pins placed arranged in a particular pattern on a revolving cylinder or disc. These pins strike the tuned teeth on a steel comb and produce the musical notes. As time went on some musical boxes had interchangeabe cyclinders that could produce different tunes. Many of these musical boxes have been decorated ornately over the years to produce a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. Many, many ladies have kept their small jewelry in music boxes over the years.
Collecting music boxes can be very easy. Many stores still carry music boxes and you can simply start off with ones that you love or that play certain melodies that you like. If you want to start collecting vintage or antique music boxes then the best way to start collecting these is with an education. Learn how to identify the various music boxes from different periods, the various manufacturers and their identifying marks. Then you will be able to determine if you have the genuine article or not. There are a number of books and even a number of web sites dedicated to old music boxes and you can use there to build up your knowledge on the items you want to collect. There are even a number of associations or hobby groups that you can join. Some may be expensive as far as the fees are concerned but it can be a pittance if you plan on spending hard earned cash for older vintage or antique music boxes. You want to be sure you can identify the genuine article. Check out The Music Box Society International, one of the larger societies dedicated to this hobby.
Looking over items in yard sales or garage sales might turn up some interesting music boxes. Estate sales and auctions can be a goldmine for finding older instruments at a good price if you are the only expert bidding on items and know the true cost. Let your family and friends know you are collecting music boxes. You never know what they might come across and let you know about. Visit antique stores, visit web sites or even look on eBay to see what might be available. Remember that listings on eBay change constantly so check back often to see if a new piece might eventually show up.
Older music boxes are still very affordable in relation to other hobbies such as coin collecting or old basball cards where the dollar values can be astonomical when bidders begin to compete against one another. If you know what you are looking for, you can still find some affordable yet fine antique music boxes today for roughly the inflation-adjusted original cost of that item. But music box collectors are not usually overly concerned with the increased value they may get out of the collection down the road. They are usually quite passionate about the delightful sounds, beauty and history of the music box rather than the monetary value they might get out of it. That doesn’t mean you won’t necessarily make a lot of money selling your collection down the road, if you decide to do that. But for many, the money is secondary to the esthetic values.
Whatever you decide to do, whatever type of music box you decide to collect, take your time and enjoy each new music box that you find.