Discovered, cleaned and tested by our friend Robin, we are proud to present a selection of small Wiener Spieluhren with different melodies.
Spieluhren (music box also musical box) is a 19th/20th century automatic musical instrument that produces sounds by the use of a set of pins placed on a revolving cylinder or disc so as to pluck the tuned teeth (or lamellae) of a steel comb. They were developed from musical snuff boxes of the 18th century and called carillons à musique.
The original snuff boxes were tiny containers which could fit into a gentleman's waistcoat pocket. The Spieluhren come "naked" and are powered by clockwork and originally produced by artisan watchmakers. For most of the 19th century, the bulk of music box production was concentrated in Switzerland, building upon a strong watchmaking tradition. The first music box factory was opened there in 1815 by Jérémie Recordon and Samuel Junod. There were also a few manufacturers in Bohemia, Germany and Vienna.