Music boxes by L'Épée

Spielwerke / movements



1216, 2476, 3422, 4321, 7858, 12149, 13386, 17570, 19260, 19373,

20130, 20930, 23445, 24479, 25617, 25752, 26477, 26925, 32507, 1st: Faust, 38769,

40804, 41947, 42882, 45631, 48737, 53221, 87603 (?)

Typical L'Épée features

[1] Unnummeriert

Ebay 2022 Jan 10

Nr. 33

Nr. 1216

„I feel sure the wedding march is the Mendelssohn item most seen on tune sheets; it goes very well with drum and bells, as noted in fig. 1-15 for L´Epée Serial No. 1216. Suppé´s Boccaccio of 1879 is the latest tune of the six and its amusing that only the composers of the last two get their names on the tune sheet scrolls! The others are famous in different ways including T.B. Bishop of Maine, U.S.A., who wrote the words and the music for When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again. He had previously written, in 1859, first the chorus and later the verses of John Brown´s Body Lies A-mouldering … The strange thing about this tune sheet, which I am sure is the original for this musical box, is the FC monogram at top center, because it is always associated with F. Conchon. He was fully established by 1879 an no link is known between him and L´Epée. Nor can I explain the No. 2863 on the tune sheet, as 748 is probably the Gamme number. The printing is in black and gold by J. Pattegay, Mulhouse, France, quite near Sainte Suzanne and it is titled MUSIQUE DE GENEVE, common on L´Epée tune sheets but not on conchon. L´Epée Serial No. 4321 has the same tune sheet.“ (Bulleid, Technology, p. 22-23)

The mechanism of Serial No. 1216 has all the L´Epée characteristics except for a conventional brass Bremond-style winding lever. Some are shown in figs. 1-16 and 1-17. Several main components are marked 1216 or 16 and many common details such as bearing brackets are stamped 40. The cylinder setting dots are on tune 4, between track lines, typical of L´Epée.
The six bells and nine drum teeth are in the central 15-tooth comb so the main comb of 96 teeth is in two halves. The total of 111 teeth at L´Epée 0.018“ (0.46 mm) track width cover 12.1“ (31 cm) of pinning on the 12.8“ (33 cm) cylinder, leaving about ¼“ at bass end and ½“ at reble end unpinned, rather unusual and probably considered utterly deplorable by many Swiss makers. The 96 music teeth permit good decoration in all the melodies, quite cleverly kept clear of bell and drum noise.
Twisted tensioning wires criss-cross the drum, with screwed adjustable tightened hooks; all purely decorative as the metal face, back, and body of the drum are all soldered together. To prevent harshness the drum strikers are fitted with leather pads.
(Bulleid: Cylinder Musical Box Technology, 1994, p. 23-24)

Nr. 2476

Made by L'Epee of St. Suzanne, France, numbered 25752 and with serial number 2476

Approximately 22" (56 cm) wide x 8" (20 cm) deep x 5¾"(14.6 cm) high

Antiques Atlas No. as1159a014 / 3414

Nr. 3422

Nr. 4321

has the same tune sheet design as No. 1216

Nr. 7858

Nr. 12149

Nr. 13386

Nr. 17570

Nr. 19260

Nr. 19373

Nr. 20130

Nr. 20930

Nr. 23445

Nr. 24479

Nr. 25752



Nr. 26477

Nr. 26925

Nr. 32507, 1st: Faust

Nr. 38769

AW = Adolphe Woog

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(PICT and all pieces of music!) of

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Nr. 40804

Nr. 41947

Nr. 42882

Nr. 45631

Nr. 48737

Nr. 53221

Nr. 87603