|Title:||Antique Regina Music Box|
|Date/Era/Period:||Late 19th century|
|Description:||Antique Regina Music Box|
|Condition:||It is oak construction. It is in excellent condition and it plays metal disks. It has 31 fifteen inch disks to play songs. The family legend is that this music box was sold by a family member, to be placed in a bar and played by placing a nickle in a slot on the side. There is no coin mechanism in this music box and the slot is covered by brass plate.|
|Origin:||This box was purchased by my wife's parents from an uncle. My wife inherited the music box when her mother passed away.|
|Provenance:||There are numerous Regina music boxes but most of them are of the table top type. Numerous searches of the internet have failed to find an upright box of this size. (There are other upright boxes that play larger disks.)|
|Appraised By:||Valerie Hammond|
|History Of The Item:||Hi there and thank you for your request for appraisal. I just love early music boxes. My Grandma had a collection which sadly, was disposed of before I could save them but I still remember the pride she showed when she played some of them . She was a lady who played the piano at silent movie theatres, so the disc music boxes were a real innovation and mystery to her . The Regina Music Box company actually began in a small town called Gohis Germany. It was originally the Symphonian Music Box Company , founded in 1885. In 1889 it became the Polyphone Music Box company and at that time began to export them to the United States. The cost of shipping, along with duties made it very expensive to export, so the firm founders decided that it would be better to simply move to the U.S , their major market, and that is what they did . Perfect timing too, because in 1891 the McKinley Tariff Law added yet more cost to foreign imports to the U.S.A. The were based in Rahway New Jersey and opened up in 1890. Between 1892 and the mid 1900's they were the most popular and prolific manufacturers of music boxes and sold over 100,000 duringthat time frame ! In 1920 newer innovations ( the phonograph ) began to lure music box customers away and despite attempts to make combination players, the company wasn't able to maintain their lead in sales. They diversified to ( of all thngs ) Vacuum cleaners .|
|Appraiser Tips:||Do not retore or refinish this delightful music box. all of the original wear should remain . It all adds to the values.|
|Research Sources:||I specialize in Victorian Antiques, and while it has been about 15 years since we have had a Regina item , we have sold many music boxes over our 35 years in this business.|
|Appraiser Comments:||This is a gem to be sure . The cabinet work alone makes this a wonderful piece of furniture apart from the fact that the sound produced by these is so clear and bell like that they are still the pick and most prized by collectors today. We rarely see them being sold however, which is why we haven't had one is some time . They sound as wonderful today as they did the year they were made and that is a testement to the quality of their crafting. The discs alone are worth about $ 75 each . The odd thing with this machine is that it has a hand crank and a coin slot. The coin slot machines were found in the European models and had the mechanism inside the box to activate the music box. The fact that the mechanism is missing and there is a handle to hand crank the music box leads me to believe that this was not originally made in The U.S. factory . I believe this to be a European model because of the size, style and coin slot . There were , just prior to the company moving to the United States, quite a few Polyphone cabinets shipped over from exsisting inventory and then the name plate was replaced with the Regina name plate once the workings were installed and before they were sent out into the retail market . The brass plate you see may have been put there to cover the coin slot so that the hand crank which was installed would allow the machine to be hand operated in keeping with the U.S. models. . The cabinet is certainly in keeping with the Polyphone cabinets which were richly made, ornate and very fine quality in keeping with the European taste and demand. As far as values, for insurance purposes, this is an extremely well made Regina with gadrooning, piereced front and lovely cornice pieces . It is most similar to one referred to as the Lions Head Cabinet although yours is somehow more refined . Some of their players played up to 100 songs, so you can see, they were the masters at their craft. I feel that because this is not the typical upright disc player cabinet and music box we traditionally see the values could be higher than listed below especially if you had to go out to find this model elsewhere. There is a rarity factor which I have included in these values. The prices are exclusive of taxes, finders fees, shipping, handling or any other additional costs or charges. It has been a pleasure for me to assist you today. Valerie Hammond|
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