A walnut vertical Buffet type cabinet music box with 11 inch discs
Barnett Henry Abrahams, St. Croix and London, late 19 th century
With steel framed large going barrel movement set behind a glass panel beneath vertical silver painted cast iron bed incorporating a 5 inch tuned steel comb and respective series of star wheels engaging with pierced projections in the steel tune disc secured over the mechanism by a pivoted latched arm and driven by a toothed wheel engaging with perforations to the rim of the disc at the base, the upper section of the cast bed cast with 'THE BRITANNIA, *B.H.A.*, ST. CROIX.LONDON', the case with turned finials and balustrade gallery over ogee cornice and fretwork frieze to entablature and a pair of book-matched veneered crossbanded and line inlaid doors applied with Britannia and Royal Warrant transfers, on moulded skirt base incorporating winding square and PLAY/STOP lever to right hand side over turned feet, 77cm (30.25ins) high; with twelve discs.
Barnett Henry Abrahams was born in 1839, he was initially a dealer in music boxes but by 1857 had emigrated to Switzerland where he founded a musical box manufacturing business. In 1895 he established himself in Sainte-Croix and started to manufacture disc music boxes, many of which were for the British market and hence labelled 'The Britannia'. The business had a London address at 133/135 Houndsitch and was continued after Abrahams death in 1902 by his sons until around 1915.
Movement is a little dirty/oily but is in full working condition with no visible damage to the steel comb and plays at an appropriate speed with good strong sound. The case has a triangular veneer chip approx. ¾ inch across to the outside edge of the crossbanded border of the right-hand front door and some smaller chips to the top edge of the cornice projection as well as some slight veneer lifting to the centre behind the ebonised gallery. The transfers to the front door are a little worn as is the ebonised finish to the mouldings around the base, otherwise case is in sound original condition with only relatively minor bumps, scuff, and other faults commensurate with age and use. There is a winding crank included with the lot.
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