Musical Snuff Box

Musical Snuff Box

<< >>
Usage conditions apply

This music box was likely made by Jules Cuendet, in Switzerland, around 1838-1842. It is a musical snuff box, with 2 tunes. This music box has a two-piece comb with 41 teeth. The music box is activated by a key wound spring. Carved on the top of the music box:

Ile de Ste. Helene, Habitation de Napoleon

Stamped on bedplate:


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.

Currently not on view
Object Name
Music Box
date made
place made
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 1 1/2 in x 3 3/4 in x 2 1/2 in; 3.81 cm x 9.525 cm x 6.35 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
The Monsignor John M. Cooper Collection of African, American Indian, Oceanic and Philippine Ethnology presented by the Catholic University of America
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Mechanical Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Note: Comment submission is temporarily unavailable while we make improvements to the site. We apologize for the interruption. If you have a question relating to the museum's collections, please first check our Collections FAQ. If you require a personal response, please use our Contact page.