Long before radio and any recording technology, the music box was the only portable playback device and the only way to listen to a song without performers present. Despite the plethora of options available today for enjoying music anytime and anywhere, the distinctive sound of a traditional music box still has a romantic appeal for many people. If you’re looking for a special gift idea, music boxes can make wonderful heirloom quality custom jewelry boxes or custom keepsake boxes, with special drawers or compartments for your treasured objects. If one of your treasured objects happens to be an antique music box, CustomMade artisans can restore it so future generations can enjoy it as well.
The message behind this heart shaped musical jewelry box by EFC will be clear even before it’s opened. Made from black walnut with a maple stripe accent, this box has two storage compartments inside. Contact the artisan if you want to learn about available custom options.
Traditional music boxes need a space to secure a bedplate so the cylinder or disc can turn freely. If your music box is going to do double duty as a custom baby or wedding keepsake box, you can commission a piece with additional storage space to meet your needs, like this walnut music box with drawer by Moose Eye Creations. This piece was made from hand selected rough cut black walnut and has a unique feature: “The board used for the upper front frame features the remains of a branch and nut that were absorbed by the tree.” If artisan Dave Metz’s “simple and austere … less is more” approach appeals to you, send him a request for a custom item of your own.
A custom music box by Artisans of the Valley would make a great way to commemorate special occasions like graduations, anniversaries, or births. Woodworker Eric Saperstein can create beautifully hand carved and signed custom boxes like this music box. Watch this video of a WZBN TV interview featuring Mr. Saperstein at the New Jersey State House on “Made in NJ Day” and you can see and hear this box in action (around the 1:10 mark). If you have a special request for your “future antique,” share your ideas with the artisan.
This mahogany music box was completely rebuilt by Jetwoodshop after it was damaged in a fire. Artisan James E. Thompson, III, used the parts not completely destroyed as patterns for the rebuild and finished the box to match the original. (Take a look at the pictures on the gallery page of the charred original parts and a close-up of the music cylinder and comb). If you have an antique music box restoration challenge, contact Mr. Thompson.
If you have a special song in mind for your custom music box, ask your maker what playback choices are available, because this does impact music availability. Traditional-style cylinders and discs designed to play particular songs are difficult (but not impossible) to custom manufacture. Paper and pneumatic-roll renditions of songs may be easier to customize. If you are not too particular about authenticity, other modern options might be feasible.
Music boxes can serve as custom wooden jewelry display cases, be shared as commemorative gifts, or simply be enjoyed as musical devices with a long history and nostalgic charm. Find a CustomMade artisan located near you and commission your own today.