Restoring Musical Boxes & Musical Clocks


Author: A.W.J.G. Ord-Hume


368 pages, 180 illus. and 184 diagrams approx.

Musical boxes, dating from the late eighteenth century, are fascinating and delicate instruments that preserve on their pinned cylinders music from a past age that may otherwise have been forgotten. Musical clocks, some of which date back to the sixteenth century, also perform music from another era, and both types of instrument suffer from wear and tear and damage.

In particular, musical clocks may have had the musical parts removed either due to owners becoming bored with the tunes, or the unfamiliarity of the mechanisms to the average clock repairer. Nowadays there is a growing interest in restoring these mechanisms to their original working state.

This book describes how to repair and restore all types of music boxes - both cylinder and disc-playing types as well as miniature musical movements and singing birds - and clocks that play music on bells, organs or dulcimers. There are details on how to repin cylinders, repair discs, re-cover bellows and make new organ pipes. Learn the right way to care for bells, and restring dulcimers - as well as the many other restoration tasks involved, from replacing the massive driving springs to case repairs. The text is accompanied by numerous superb line illustrations (all specially drawn by the author for this book) and photographs of mechanisms.

For clocks that have lost their original musical programme there are instructions on how to make and pin new barrels using a choice of music. Examples of contemporary tunes are given with advice to novice and expert alike on how to arrange and set new music to the barrel, inlcuding actual pinning charts.

Appendices include a glossary of mechanical and musical terms, and a layman's guide to musical theory to enable the average clockmaker to put new music on a cylinder. The reason why modern tuning cannot be used on an antique instrument is als explained.

Throughout, this complete manual for repairing and maintaining musical boxes and musical clocks emphasises the correct conservation and restoration procedures that should always be followed. In the wrong hands these instruments can be irreparably damaged, but by following the recommended procedures, they can be restored back to life.

This book will be invaluable for the collector and restorer, as well as those just intrigued by these fascinating instruments.