German Music Box, ca. 1885

Value (2017) | $4,000 Auction$6,000 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
Oh, I've had it since about '93. It belonged to my aunt, and she left it to me when she died.

APPRAISER:
This is all hand-painted enamels. And most people in the trade would describe this as being Continental, they're from Germany. They made little boxes like this in Austria and France, and it probably dates from the late 19th century, 1880s, 1890s. Sometimes even after the turn of the century. And inside they have a mechanical clock movement that drives the sound of the music and everything. And on the top, I think I want everybody to see how beautiful the enamelwork is. This has a scene of two young lovers out in the forest on the top of it. All this beautiful cobalt blue and white enamel in the background along the edges, and it has little landscapes and little inset panels on the sides as you go around. Just exquisite work.

GUEST:
I think it's gorgeous.

APPRAISER:
It is gorgeous.

APPRAISER:
Is value an important thing to you? Is this something you're going to keep in your family?

GUEST:
Oh, I will never sell it.

APPRAISER:
Well, we felt like value was going to be somewhere in the $3,000 to $5,000 range.

GUEST:
That's a lot. (laughing)

APPRAISER:
Well, let's listen to it one time, what do you think?

GUEST:
Sure. (chirping) Now, isn't that darling?

APPRAISER:
That's beautiful.

GUEST:
How in the world did they get the wings to move like that and the beak?

APPRAISER:
It's an automaton. It has a little mechanical movement inside of it.

GUEST:
It's so tiny though. (chirping)

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Ken Farmer LLC
Charlottesville, VA
Update (2017)
$4,000 Auction$6,000 Auction
Appraised value (2002)
$3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Event
Seattle, WA (June 15, 2002)

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