Swiss Music Box, Dancing Dolls for Presentation at Railroad Stations, Auguste Lassueur

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26" (66 cm.) h. x 35"w. x 18"d. A large wooden case features a stage-front with theatre curtain which disguises the performance hidden behind it. After coins are inserted, the double-comb, 8-tune, sublime harmonie cylinder mechanism starts playing. Quickly, the curtain rises to reveal five bisque dolls which twirl merrily around, the movements accentuated by drum and bells percussion instruments.There is a coin-drawer below for collection of the coins. Excellent condition of both cabinet, mechanism and music, well-functioning actions and with wonderful sound. Ex-collection of Paul Gendre of Paris from which it was acquired by Ron Connor. Railroad travel was well established thoughout Switzerland by the late 19th century, and, much like the scene in today's airport terminals, activities were introduced to railroad stations that would simultaneously entertain the waiting passengers and also make a tidy profit. Auguste Lassueur of Ste-Croix, Switzerland, hit upon the notion of placing coin-operated mechanical music boxes in the waiting rooms on the Jura-Simplon Railway Co. in Switzerland. He commissioned works from several music box makers in Ste-Croix, most notably Alfred Junod-Turin. The Lassueur creations were of several designs including a musical carousel and this dancing theatre of dolls. Auguste Lassueur, Swiss, circa 1887.
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