A Mermod Freres Plerodinique Interchangeable cylinder musical box (extra cylinders?)
Lot 34W
A rare Plerodiénique interchangeable cylinder music box-on-stand, by Mermod Fréres, Circa 1894, retailed by Samuel Troll,
Sold for US$ 54,900 inc. premium

Lot Details
A Mermod Freres Plerodinique Interchangeable cylinder musical box (extra cylinders?) A Mermod Freres Plerodinique Interchangeable cylinder musical box (extra cylinders?) A Mermod Freres Plerodinique Interchangeable cylinder musical box (extra cylinders?)
A rare Plerodiénique interchangeable cylinder music box-on-stand, by Mermod Fréres,
Circa 1894, retailed by Samuel Troll,
No. 15229,
with the four cylinders playing a variety of popular aria and operatic airs, large double-spring crank-wind motor, Jacot safety check, quadruple-dumbbell governor and connected speed regulator, twin ST stamped combs with large dome-head screws and washers, pin-less clutch band with five tuned teeth, jigsaw-linkage change/repeat connection bar, on painted silvered-finished reeded cast bedplate, in plain polished interior under bevelled glass dust-lid with lid stay, fielded panel lid interior, in carved mahogany case, with the cleat-panel centred lid having moulded raised edge, mitred-corner frame and slight-canted corners, the front profusely carved with geometric naturalistic scrolls, ferns, flower heads and leaves against poker-work ground, integral cylinder storage drawer in the plinth base for three cylinders, on the matching stand with compliment carving to the further storage drawer for another three cylinders, shaped front apron, on elegant carved cabriole legs with scroll foot toes and Rococo shield bosses, with the rare original ratchet crank with nickel-plated finish and ebonised handle -
49.1/2in wide the cylinders 20.3/4in and 3.1/2in. Diameter length to band from left 10in, stand width 58in. Total height with box 44in.

Footnotes

  • References:
    Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments, Q. David Bowers, 1972, pp. 20 (for exhibition description), 42-47 (for detailed diagrams and illustrations of a Paillard version from the early 1880's)
    The Musical Box – A Guide for the Collector, Arthur W. J. G. Ord-Hume, 1971, pp. 151

    Footnote:
    Invented by Albert Jearenaud from the heart of the music box manufacturing town of St. Croix, Switzerland, the American patent for the Plerodiénique cylinder design was filed as US No. 266,826 on October 31 1882. It consists of two cylinders held end-to-end, with the join covered by a band which is fixed to the left-hand half. As the cylinder rotates, the right-hand half moves slowly away from the band, creating in effect a cylinder with half the credentials as a helically-pinned version.
    The problem which had to be overcome was the way in which a standard cylinder is pinned. There is a universal stop for all the airs and where longer pieces such as overtures were notated, these would have a design count-down where there had to be a stop. To overcome this in the short-term, these were usually executed on larger diameter cylinders – still meaning a break or stop had to take place at some point.

    One way of dealing with this on a standard diameter format was to pin spirally, however this greatly lowered the number of airs possible to pin – around three for a cylinder with a diameter of at least 4-inches.
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