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Norfolk collector’s rare music box sells for £26,000

PUBLISHED: 10:30 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:04 21 May 2019

The Nichole Freres Piano cylinder music box that sold for £26,000 at auction in Diss. Picture: TW Gaze

The Nichole Freres Piano cylinder music box that sold for £26,000 at auction in Diss. Picture: TW Gaze

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A rare music box has sold for £26,000 after a Norfolk man’s lifetime collection of mechanical music spanning more than 140 years went under the auction hammer.

TW Gaze director Elizabeth Talbot with some of the mechanical music spanning more than 140 years belong to a Wymondham collector that were sold in Diss. Picture: Simon ParkinTW Gaze director Elizabeth Talbot with some of the mechanical music spanning more than 140 years belong to a Wymondham collector that were sold in Diss. Picture: Simon Parkin

The lever-wind Nichole Freres Piano Forte 4-Overture cylinder music box, dating from 1850, proved to be the star lot in the collection of Richard Bartram which sold at TW Gaze in Diss.

BBC antiques expert and director of the firm Elizabeth Talbot said despite some significant damage to the movement requiring some expensive restoration, it sold to a telephone bidder from Germany.

The lever-wind Nichole Freres cylinder music box sold to a telephone bidder from Germany despite needing some significant damage to the movement. Picture: TW GazeThe lever-wind Nichole Freres cylinder music box sold to a telephone bidder from Germany despite needing some significant damage to the movement. Picture: TW Gaze

The collection of Mr Bartram, from Wymondham, drew bidders including local museums, collectors, specialist dealers and members of the Music Box Society and sold for over £118,000 in total.

Other notable sales included a polyphon autochange, an early forerunner of a jukebox, that sold for £14,000, a coin in the slot symphonion that fetched £7,500, and a mid-19th century street barrel piano with dancing automata figures bought for £5,000.


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