Hello Diane and MMDers! Zimbalist was a dealer (in Cleveland, Ohio)
who imported heavy engraved silver cases from India and installed
Thorens musical works into them. Apparently there never were two
alike, at least that I've ever seen. But the imagination of the
craftsmen in India was incredible! It seems that the only instruction
they were given was that there had to be a space inside for a musical
works, either cylinder or disc. From there, they were on their own.
I have seen nearly every musical instrument, most items of fruit,
various buildings including the Taj Mahal with a disc musical works
and 25 discs stored inside, all types of cigarette holders and pipe and
tobacco holders, and probably the most intricate I've seen was a horse
and carriage assembly with six horses and a Cinderella carriage that
contained a decanter and six small glasses. My favorite, however, is
a beautiful replica of a cylinder musical box on its matching table
with a 72 note movement inside.
Several years ago I came across a large collection of them in an
antiques store near my (then) home in Indiana. They were so out of
place there that I inquired where they had come from, and immediately
recognized the last name of a long time MBSI member who had died the
year before. It seems that her son had no idea what they were or their
value -- very fortunate for me! I kept several and sold the rest at
the next MBSI annual meeting.
Your luck was good, Diane. It is always neat to be able to buy a good
music box because someone made it inoperable and so you get a good
price. Most 20th Century boxes can be made to work with a little
tender loving care if you are patient.
There are, of course, exceptions -- a broken governor worm is a whole
different case, or broken teeth -- but that rarely happens in a box
where the music is enclosed and out of the way of poking fingers! Most
music box problems are caused by inept people messing with them, and
are rarely caused by inept or inaccurate music box makers.
Beatrice Robertson - Back in sunny _very warm_ Southwest Florida after
a couple of months traveling.