Music Box Companies: Traditional and Modern Marvels

Where do they come from, these tiny marvels of music and hand-made artisanship?  A hundred years before radio, MTV and iPods, music box companies were enchanting the world with small miracles in a box.  Beautiful to behold, mesmerizing to watch, and charming in musical details, these little boxes were – and still are- the ultimate in heirloom gifts that will delight generations to come. 

The original pioneers of music box companies are reputed to be European, particularly German, Swiss and Bavarian artistry.  These original antique boxes now sell on eBay and in private estate sales for as much as $4,000.  Owning an intact antique music box is the equivalent of owning a vintage Rolls Royce or cloisonné vase from the early Orient.

Fortunately, today's modern music box companies take great pride in duplicating the craftsmanship and exquisite details of the companies of the early 1800's.  Carrying lines of modern-themed boxes as well as timeless classics, the music box masters of today continue to produce achingly beautiful heirlooms with precious, intricate carvings combined with traditional musical classics and modern melodies destined for greatness.

Explore the World of Music Box Companies

The maker of the first music box in Europe has faded into legend, although there many speculations about their original origin.  What is known is that the first music box company in America, the revered Regina Company, created the first American-made music box in Rahway, New Jersey about a hundred years ago.   Since that time, American artists joined the European masters in carving gorgeous and captivating creations in wood, stone, metal and now more modern materials such as clear acrylics.  In music box companies of renowned repute, no part of the box is entirely mass-produced except for minor accessories like winding keys and the cloth lining.  Otherwise, the constructing of the music box is accomplished by hand, down to the coordination of the music-producing elements.

Some music box companies focus exclusively on a particular type of box, such as Thomas Kincaid, Victorian Trolley, White Christmas, Queen Anne Victorian, Mr. Christmas, and Van Gogh's Starry Night series all center around Christmas, the era of Queen Victoria, and Impressionist painting.  The Irish Blessing company uses traditional motifs of leprechauns, roses and shamrocks, along with such tunes as "When Irish Eyes are Smiling,"  "Danny Boy," and "My Wild Irish Rose." You can even find a gorgeous Renoir La Loge music box made from mahogany, black finish, varnish, and gold risers imported from Italy!

Other music box companies may develop boxes in a series, but also create other types of boxes with differing styles of music.  For example, The Elegant Music Box created a series of animal-themed music boxes with river otters, sea turtles, butterflies and hummingbirds.  However, they also create Mothers' Day boxes and boxes designed with soothing melodies for infants.  The Maine Music Box Company makes a vast array of box designs and melodies as does the San Francisco Music Box Company on the other side of the continent. 

From the whimsical to the spiritual, music box companies have a rich history of creating beautiful and soothing works of art, suitable for any room in your home, and for truly lasting gifts. 

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