A walnut-veneered upright symphonion with twin "Sublime-Harmony" combs and a stylistically typical arched glazed door, fret corners and gilt title plaque, is to auction at Bonhams in Oxford, UK on February 12.
The fascinating turn of the 19th century piece carries a £2,200 ($3,516) high estimate ahead of the sale, which is set to star a kaleidoscopic array of highly coveted collectibles, including Steiff bears, Pelham puppets and Marklin model trains.
Prior to the invention of the music box, non-performed music was produced by cumbersome contraptions containing bells and chimes. The symphonion brought melodies into the home. By the late 1800s music boxes were built with removable cylinders, meaning tunes could be changed, like records.
Symphonions fell out of favour after the invention of the phonograph in 1877.
Other stand out lots include a scarce "No. 1 Jerry" musical chamber pot made by Crown Devon at the outbreak of the second world war, which plays Rule Britannia and features the slogans "Have this on old nasty" and "Another violation of Poland", as well as featuring a caricature of Adolf Hitler's face at which to aim. The novelty chamber pot has been given a £1,500-1,800 ($2,400-2,900) valuation ahead of the highly anticipated sale.
Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles we also have a wealth of museum-grade collectibles in stock, including this exceptionally rare and uncommonly elegant George III demi-lune commode, which has been officially attributed to one of London's most prominent and celebrated cabinet makers, John Linnell (1729-1796).
As well as kingly commodes, Linnell was also heavily involved in the design of the world famous Theatre Royal on London's Drury Lane and his sketches remain on show as part of the V&A's permanent exhibition.
A similarly eclectic, Las Vegas auction, which is scheduled for January 19-20, is to feature an array of American casino collectibles, including a rare, coin operated Mills Violano Virtuoso musical and entertainment machine that carries a $16,000-160,000 presale estimate.
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