Music boxes Makers

shorts biographies



Is it among musical Instruments, in jewelry, in mechanics, in watchmaking that I must place these complicated pieces making, where under various volumes and shapes, art has managed to produce melodious sounds by mechanisms like those of watches ?

M. de CAUDOLLE, Extract from Swiss Industrial Products Report, 1828.


FAVRE Antoine Salomon

From Geneva, he was the first to improve production of musical notes from tongues of steel set in vibration by pins on the surface of a slowly rotating cylinder or disc. Not similar to the carillon and other instruments yet used during the previous centuries.


Famous Genevese music boxes makers family tributes to a high-quality production in music boxes field.

NICOLE François

On 1827, he improved dampers under steel blades. First dampers were in parchment, then in goose feather and last in spring steel.


On 1814, he realized the first steel comb in only one piece. On 1822, he adds lead weights to low blades tuning to accentuate low sounds.

BRUGUIER Charles & Jacques

Automaton makers dinasty, specialized in singing birds building soon in the 19th century, as was Jaquet-Droz, or Rochat… Jacques would be Charles Abraham‘s son-in-law.

PIGUET Isaac (par la suite associé à Meylan)

On 1802, he built small earlier music boxes composed of five tones. On 1809 he delivered to Napoleon 1st snuff music boxes to reward his generals.

MEYLAN Philippe (par la suite associé à Piguet)

Initiator of plate musical mechanism fitted to watches and other pocket jewelries.


BONTEMS Blaise & Lucien

Automata makers family specialized in singing birds in the mid-19th century, until the First World War.


As Thorens and Ullmann plants, he produced small movements for household items.

L’EPEE Auguste

French clockmaker known for his carriage clocks, developed throughout the 19th century (1830-1914), an original production of music cartels from his workshops of Sainte-Suzanne-de-Montbéliard.


After a craft activity, he created the first industrialized production line in Sainte Croix (Switzerland) in 1875. This brook with the use of home manufacturing in the countryside during the winter.


ALIBERT François

Parisian clockmaker established rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau from 1812 to 1830. He used early Geneva (mainly M. Bordier) and Ste Croix music boxes to embellish his own clocks production.


Craftsman using mostly bedplates of L'Epée, remarkable for his arrangements.



Czech maker based in Prague from early 1820 until 1897. Compete with Ste Croix productions with primitive design movements, with very fine musical arrangements. Spelling of his brand name changes with the times.


In the first half of the 19th century, he made superb musical snuffboxes movements, often mounted in the clocks of Parisian makers.


Manufacturer from Sainte Croix as Cuendet and Ulhmann firms, he produces small music mechanisms to fit into home items. Turns to phonograph manufacturing.






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