Musical Snuff Box

Musical Snuff Box

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This music box was made an undetermined maker, probably Switzerland, around 1830-1840. It is a musical snuff box, with 2 tunes. The music box has a segmented comb with 16 4-teeth sections. The cylinder is 2-15/32" long. The music box is activated by a key wound spring. Carved on the music box top:


Clever miniature portable devices, musical snuff boxes such as this one were called carillons à musique. Highly desired objects of status and crafted primarily in Switzerland, they influenced the development and popularity of all music box production in the 19th century. This musical snuff box was likely a souvenir from the Hôtel des Monnaies in Paris.

Currently not on view
Object Name
music box
date made
Physical Description
tortoise shell (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: music box: 3/4 in x 3 1/4 in; 1.905 cm x 8.255 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of E. M. Marbury
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Family & Social Life
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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