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Collectible Music Boxes - Antique Music Boxes

October 20th, 2011 Collectibles

Collectible Music Boxes From Disney

There are a variety of collectible music boxes from Disney featuring popular characters including Cinderella and Snow White. Other popular characters often featured on music boxes include Winnie the Pooh, Beauty and the Beast and Mickey Mouse. These music boxes can often be purchased directly from a Disney website, at local Disney Stores and through licensed retailers of Disney merchandise. Music boxes manufactured in smaller batches are likely to be the more popular models while music boxes manufactured in large quantities are less likely to be valuable. However, the majority of collectors who seek out Disney music boxes collect the boxes for sentimental reasons as opposed to for monetary gain.


Comparing Antique Cylinder Music Boxes and Antique Disc Music Boxes

What's the most significant difference between an antique cylinder music box and antique disc music boxes? The music! The method of playing music, as well as the number of different tunes that can be played, differentiate the cylinder music box from the disc music box.

An antique cylinder music box has a removable cylinder that can be used to play four, six or eight tunes. The different tunes are played by shifting the cylinder sideways and engaging a different set of pins. Disc music boxes utilize round discs to play tunes. The music boxes can usually hold several discs and may be changed automatically in some music boxes. Also, these music boxes may contain a storage section for storing extra discs when not in use.

Learning About Antique Music Boxes

Collectors of antique music boxes may find membership in the Music Box Society International (MBSI) is one of the most reliable ways for collectors to learn about antique music boxes. The opportunities to learn about music boxes through this society include networking, access to an online community for music box collectors and the ability to participate in informative meetings and seminars. Networking opportunities through attending regional meetings, national conventions and participating in online message boards is a simple way for antique music box collectors to learn more about music boxes. Simply by talking to more experienced collectors, the collector can learn a great deal about history, styles and types of music boxes.

Music box collectors who are not interested in joining MBSI can still learn a great deal about antique music boxes through independent research. Reading books, talking to antique dealers and attending trade shows are just a few examples of how a collector can broaden his knowledge about music boxes.

Music Box Collecting Tips

Some useful music box collecting tips include setting a budget, structuring the collection carefully and caring for the collection properly. These tips may be very basic but it is very important for new music box collectors to carefully consider these tips to ensure their collection is as valuable as possible.

Setting a budget for music box collecting is very important. The budget can be in the form of an overall amount of money to be spent or a monthly or quarterly amount to be spent. Regardless of how the budget is defined, it will help the collector to make wise decisions about the items he adds to his collection. This is important because without setting a budget it is tempting to purchase any music box encountered instead of carefully considering how the music box will fit into the collection.

It is also important to structure a music box collection carefully. Some collectors may wish to collect items solely on personal preference and that is perfectly acceptable. However, serious collectors who want to build a valuable collection may be more discriminating about the items they add to their collections.

Finally, caring for the music boxes in the collection properly is imperative. This is so important because failure to do so may result in pieces being damaged. Some antique music boxes may be in need of immediate repair while other items in the collection may require repair over time. Inspecting the collection regularly can help the collector to spot problems early before they become irreparable.

Music Box Collector Clubs

The Music Box Society International (MBSI) is a club for music box collectors around the world. Membership in this club puts a music box collector in connection with others who share the same interests, as well as experts who have a great deal of experience with music boxes. Through participation in this type of club, an amateur collector can learn a great deal about the history of music boxes, how to identify music boxes, how to place a value on music boxes and how to repair music boxes.

Membership to the MBSI also has a variety of other benefits. Members receive a subscription to Mechanical Music, which is published bimonthly. The magazine features articles of interest to music box collectors. Members are also eligible to join regional chapters which gives them the opportunity to meet with others nearby who share an interest in music boxes. Additionally, members are invited to attend the annual convention where they can network with collectors of music boxes from around the world.

Repairing Antique Music Box Parts

Antique music box parts usually include combs, cylinders, dampers and mainsprings. Repairing combs may include retuning the comb or replacing teeth. The cost of retuning is typically around $400, while the cost of replacing a tooth averages around $100 per tooth. Repinning of cylinders can cost a collector approximately $75-$100 per inch, assuming the cylinder is of an average diameter. The dampers of a music box may also need regulating and this repair can cost approximately $300. Finally, replacing a mainspring can cost approximately $100. All of these repairs are rather expensive and in many cases the repairs could wind up exceeding he cost of the music box.

Shopping for an Antique Ballerina Music Box

An antique ballerina music box can be found in a variety of different locations. One of the easiest ways to find this type of music box is to use the Internet to search for available music boxes. This method is ideal because it enables the collector to search for music boxes around the world in a relatively short amount of time. An avid collector can certainly spend days or even weeks searching for a particular antique ballerina music box online but they can certainly search more retailers in more locations than they would be able to search without the use of the Internet.

Collectors who prefer to have the opportunity to carefully examine a music box before making a purchase may prefer to search local antique dealers, thrift stores, trade shows and garage sales for antique music boxes. This method of searching is certainly more time consuming but it can also be a lot of fun for the collector. It may also result in the collector finding excellent deals on valuable antique music boxes.

Starting a Music Box Collection

Collectors who wish to start a music box collection should be aware of the different styles of music boxes available, as well as how to determine approximately when a music box was manufactured. This is important because these two factors can help the collector to determine which music boxes would make an excellent addition to the collection, and which ones will not exactly fit in with the rest of the collection. Although the decision to purchase a particular music box is ultimately up to the collector, a collector can always opt to purchase a music box based on personal preference even if it doesn’t match the rest of the collection. However, a music box collection that incorporates a variety of pieces that complement each other well may be more valuable than a more eclectic collection.

The Origins of Vintage Music Boxes

Vintage music boxes originated in Switzerland where they were invented in 1796 by Antoine Favre. The popularity of music boxes quickly spread in European countries as the home phonograph had not yet been invented, and music boxes provided a way for people to bring music into their homes. Finally, the music being played in great orchestra halls could now be brought into homes. Music boxes were not only popular in Europe, though. They eventually became popular in America though where the orchestral music that was so popular in Europe was brought to America.


Tips for Finding Antique Music Boxes for Sale

Collectors of antique music boxes or those who are interested in starting a collection may find joining the Music Box Society International (MBSI) to be very worthwhile. This is because members of this organization may have access to antique music boxes for sale by other members. These music boxes for sale might be difficult to find otherwise because the members may choose to advertise their collectibles for sale through MBSI out of convenience.

Additionally, membership in the MBSI gives the collector the opportunity to join regional chapters where they can view private collections of other members and network with these other members. Through these networking opportunities the collector may find a variety of music boxes for sale. They can also learn more about the other methods collectors use to acquire antique music boxes.

When Antique Music Box Restoration is Not Worthwhile

Antique music box restoration and repair is possible in many cases. However, there may be times when the restoration or the repair will compromise the value of the music box. This usually occurs when it is necessary to replace antique parts with modern parts. Collectors in this situation should carefully examine how the repairs will affect the value of the music box before making a decision.

Another example of when antique music box restoration may not be worthwhile is when the cost of the repairs will exceed the value of the music box. In cases where the sentimental value of the music box is high, the collector may be willing to pay for the repairs to restore the music box. However, if the music box is simply a part of the collector’s collection and he is not emotionally attached to the music box the cost of the repairs may not be worthwhile.