Spieldosen von Nicole Frères

( Spielwerke / movements)

[1], [2], [3], [4], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13] [14], [15], [16],
[17] (interchangeable, 1885 or later),
2214, 3330, 5221, 6152, 7389 Overtures, 7442,
18740, 21797, 22165,

23104, 24130, 24406, 24658, 24678, 24697, 25565, 1st: Home sweet Home, 26518, 26975, 28183, 1st: In the Days when..., 28425, 1st: Home sweet Home, 28673, 28687,

30082, 30442, 30813, 30888, 31145, 31488, 31610, 32446, 32135, 32459, 32764, 33230, 33511, 33711, 34012, 34083, 34532, 4th: Mandoline Walze N1, 35782, 36951, 37105, 38291, 38412, 38994, 39826,

41248, 41924, 3rd: Good bye John, 41931, 42070, 42369, 42681, 1st: Little Bluebird., 42960, 43171, 36 airs, 43255 Mandoline, 43523 Mandoline, 43662, 43710, 43752, 2nd: My love this..., 43824, 43841, 44036, 2nd: Home sweet Home, 44203, 44695, 44708, 44770, 44867, 45282, 45411, 45806, 46020, 46121, 46148, 1st: Those Evening bells, 46242, 46447, 46461, 46747, 47111, 47419, 49151,

50000, 50342, 50816, 51322, 52256, 52516, 12th: Estudiantina Valse, 52550, 1st: Prayer, 2nd: Home Sweet Home

"Established in 1815 at rue Klèberg 17, Geneva, Switzerland, as makers of musical boxes. Partners were Pierre-Moïse Nicole and David-Èlie Nicole. They were among the earliest makers to capitalise on the production of quality musical boxes by the association of their name with the product.

Nicole musical boxes are generally of high quality and all are stamped with the name. They attained fame through excellent public relations at an early stage and their early work is often outstanding. Nicole Frères established its first London address in Hatton Garden, but subsequently moved to 21 Ely Place, London, E.C. In October of 1881, the business was effectively transferred to London with Charles Eugène Brun in charge and only a `branch´ maintained in Geneva. At this time the business became more diversified and handled, as agent, disc musical boxes made by Polyphon in Leipzig and Regina machines from America. Much uncertainty now surrounds the original classification of Nicole Frères musical boxes by their numerical listing. It was John E. T. Clark who first published a list of serial numbers and the dates of manufacture to which they apparently correspond. This list he acquired from Henri Metert, but there are proven inaccurancies throughout the range and many boxes have now been seen with numbers below 17,000. There is also mounting evidence to suggest that after the closure of the manufacturing business in Geneva, Nicole Frères in London bought elsewhere and stamped their name on the acquired boxes. One manufacturer appears to have been Paillard. Nicole Frères appears to have changed over from key-winding to lever-winding about 1860-1, although a lever-wound box with a 37,000 series number has been seen, and a 39,000 series one with key-winding. (Ord-Hume, Music Box, 1980,  p. 322-323)

John Clark´s listing, with its accepted errors, is still a reasonable guide to dating and is repeated here:"

Serials / Years






1840–1843 [5000 / 4 years = 1250 / year]


1844–1845 [2000 / 2 years = 1000 / year]


1846–1847 [3000 / 2 years = 1500 / year]


1949–1860 [6000 / 11 years = 545 / year]


1861 [3000 / year]


1862–1864 [ 2000 / 3 years = 666 / year]


1865–1870 [1000 / 5 years = 200 / year]


1871–1872 [2000 / 2 years = 1000 / year]


1873–1880 [2000 / 7 years = 286 / year]


1881–1882 [2000 / 2 years = 1000 / year]


1883–1888 [4000 / 5 years = 800 / year]


1889–1903 [2000 / 15 years = 133 / year]

(Ord-Hume, Music Box, 1980,  p. 332)
[In a square bracket the amount of musical boxes made in a year, added by Otmar Seemann]

The end of the firm. After a particular unsuccessful move into the production of gramophone records, Nicole Frères went bankrupt in 1906 and was taken over by the New Polyphon Supply Company. Henri Metert continues the repair side of the business until his death (1833).

[1] No number

[2] No number

[3] No number

[4] No number

[6] No number

[7] No number

[8] No number, J. Wallace

[9] No number

©Ord-Hume Music Box, tune sheet no. 53

[10] No number

Ord-Hume Music Box, tune sheet no. 54

[11] No number

©Ord-Hume Music Box, tune sheet no. 55

[12] No number

Ord-Hume Music Box, tune sheet no. 56

[13] No number


[14] No number

[15] No number

[16] No number

No. 241

Vue Du Fort De Brest

No. 2214

No. 3330, 3 airs

Oval-shaped musical clock base that contains a superior quality 3 tune musical movement made by none other than "F. Nicole". These early years, 1820-25, & a hand full of makers set the standards for quality that many others could just not attain.

Completely original, never damaged or repaired, playing 3 beautifully arranged melodies on a fine comb having 70 teeth. https://youtu.be/ZjlJFiuWP80

The comb is of steel & has a brass riser as part of its comb block; the tuning weights are of steel & brass added in order to get down to those rich bass notes required, plus the dampers are of steel & not the earlier vellum nor the later chicken feathers. Handwritten at the underside of the mahogany veneered base are the 3 tunes: "Marche", "Chasson de Freishutz" & "Waltz", along with "Silence" for the control slide found nearby & an unknown impressed mark of "Pigneret", possibly a sales venue, broker, agent, dealer, etc... The brass control plaque at the left side is engraved with "Volante" for manual push-pull for starting/stopping of the musical movement; the center hole is for winding & the front-most push-pull control is engraved "Changmt." for tune change/repeat positions.

The oval shaped base shows signs of old, non-active, woodworm (no major losses) and it is lacking one of the supporting 4 bun-feet. The musical movement retains an unusual & very effective clock trip-activation linkage that works flawlessly and the two geneva stopwork gears (atop the mainspring barrel) are lacking, as they are in many of these smaller movements. The movement is also stamp marked 3 times with "F. Nicole", twice on the bedplate & once on the comb, plus bears serial No. "3330". Winding tells us that it has a full length mainspring, not cut-down or replaced in past, and it does come with a non-original winding key.

Measures overall: 16" wide x 9 1/4" depth x 3" height.

Ebay Oct 19

No. 5221, 8 airs

No. 6152

Higher resolution

No. 7389, Overtures

©Nicole Freres 4 airs music box, in a walnut case, inlaid with mother of pearl, brass, ebony and boxwood strung, 57 cm wide Mechanism needs attention

No. 7442

No. 18740

No. 21797

No. 22165

No. 23104

For a extensive documentation
(PICT and all pieces of music!) of

please click here and then on THE COLLECTION and then CARTELS and finally on the following button

No. 24130

No. 24406

© 7.5x10x20

No. 24658

No. 24678

©Ebay 2022 Nov 18

No. 24697

No. 25565, 1st: Home sweet Home

Mehr Bildmaterial / More PICT

No. 26518

No. 26975

No. 28183, 1st: In the Days when...


No. 28425, 1st: Home sweet Home

No. 28673, 1st: The Brave old...

No. 28687, 1st: Polka

No. 30082, 1st: Home sweet Home

No. 30442, 6 airs

No. 30813

No. 30888

No. 31145

No. 31488

No. 31610

No. 32135: 6 Air Keywind, 105 teeth, Cyl. 27,5 cm, Ø 5 cm

Paul Bellamy, The Cylinder Musical Box, p. 85, Figure 1 (Octaves and Intervals Used)

No. 32459: 6 Air Keywind, 117 teeth

Paul Bellamy, The Cylinder Musical Box, p. 85, Figure 2 (Octaves and Intervals Used)

No. 32446, 4 airs

©KEYWIND ROSEWOOD AND FRUITWOOD MARQUETRY PIANO FORTE MUSIC BOX WITH FOUR OPERATIC TUNES. No. 32446 CIRCA 1850 height 5 in (12.5 cm), width 16 in (41 cm), depth 6 in (15 cm) • rosewood and rosewood grained rectangular box with fruitwood marquetry, flat lid with inlaid floral motif, door to the side to revealing the winding aperture and operating levers, the lid with tune sheet, opening to the right for key storage • the movement with steel comb, brass cylinder, and instant stop The present piece is both an early example as well as a very rare 'miniature' piano forte box, both highly sought out features in piano forte boxes. Furthermore it survives in excellent condition, including the sound of the piano forte comb and all four tunes, which resonate with crisp and perfect tune. The original tune sheet includes two songs by Verdi, one by Bellini, and the last by Jullien. The dampers to the bottom of the comb remain in excellent condition and contribute to the sound made by such a small example.

No. 32764

©Ebay 2022 Jan 18

No. 33230

No. 33511

No. 33711

No. 34012

No. 34532, 4th: Mandoline Walze N1

©Ebay 2022 Sep 22

No. 35782

No. 36951

Tune sheet made by unknown printer(s) (NN) using graphems looking like acanthus leaves or/and arabesques or/and rocailles

No. 37105

No. 38291

No. 38412

No. 38994

No. 39826

©Ebay 2022 Nov 1

No. 41248

No. 41924, 3rd: Good bye John

No. 41931

No. 42070

No. 42369

No. 42681, 1st: Little Bluebird.

No. 42960

No. 43171, 36 Airs

©Private Ownerwhip

No. 43255, Mandoline

John Alfred Mills (agent)

©Ebay 2022 Sep 19

No. 43523, Mandoline

No. 43662

No. 43710

No. 43752, 2nd: My love this...

This music box has tune sheet lettered for the German marketPresent is the original Nicole Freres tune sheet for the era.Twelves aires are clearly listed with most composers. As customary on Nicole Freres boxes, the Game and serial numbers are listed denoted. Serial #43752 and Gamme #2887. Some favorite tunes of the day including primarily waltzes. This is a good reference for some standard tune titles on other cylinder boxes you might have without tune sheets. Hope you enjoy! (Tune 2 CHANGE arm was out of position so tune play incorrectly...from then on cylinder shift occurs properly) TUNES 1. 0:00 "Opening box descriptive intro" 2. 1:05 1 "Valse du Danube" -The Blue Danube (1866) - J Strauss II 3. 2:03 2. "My Love - She's a Lassie Yet" - Scottish FiddleTune (1789) - Robert Burns 4. 2:53 3. "Campbells Are Coming" (mid-1700s) - Jacobie 5. 3:44 4 . "Buffalo Gals" -Blackface Minstrel Song (1844) - John Hodges 6. 4:40 5. "Il Boici Valse" The Kiss Waltz (1875) - Luigi Arditi 7. 5:35 6. "Silver Bells" - Schottische (1847) - Thompson 8. 6:33 7. "The Guards Waltz" - (1860) - Daniel Godfrey 9. 7:23 8. "King Hyrrim Polka" - T Albert 10. 8:15 9. "Flien and Flockin Galop" (1801) - Johann Wilhelm Hertel 11. 9:08 10. "Dernière Valse" - (1826) - Weber's Last Waltz - Von Weber 12. 10:03 11. "Silverlacke Varsoviana" - Waltz (1876) - W H Montgomery 13. 10:59 12. "Faust Valse" - Faust Opera (1859) - Charles Gounod Nicole Freres, 12 Tune 18" Cylinder Box in Inlaid Case youtube.com Nicole Freres, 12 Tune 18" Cylinder Box in Inlaid Case Nicole Freres 12 Tune 18" Cylinder #43752 Box in Inlaid CaseThis music box has tune sheet lettered for the German marketPresent is the original Nicole Frere... https://consent.youtube.com/m?continue=https: //www.youtube.com/watch%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR3Nu S1au2K94fbTdKzgAs9BIciNrfoK1lzM_jAGnkFp5 NAY8Av0R7jyQyw%26v%3Dj1lXizKnXVA% 26feature%3Dyoutu.be%26cbrd%3D 1&gl=AT&m=0&pc=yt&uxe=eomty&hl=de&src=1

No. 43824

More Swiss crosses: No. 44036 and 45282

No. 43841


No. 44036, 2nd: Home sweet Home

More Swiss crosses: No. 43824 and 45282

No. 44203

No. 44695: 1 airs, 2/turn, 106 teeth, Cyl. 23,5 cm, Ø 7,2 cm

Paul Bellamy, The Cylinder Musical Box, p. 86, Figure 7 (Octaves and Intervals Used)

No. 44708

No. 44770

No. 44867

No. 45282

More Swiss crosses: No. 43824 and 44036

No. 45411


No. 45806

Ebay 2022 Aug 1

No. 46020

No. 46121

©Ord-Hume Music Box, tune sheet no. 18

No. 46148, 1st: Those Evening bells

©Serial number 46148. C 1860. 33 cm/ 13 inch cylinder playing 8 airs as indicated on the original tune sheet. Retailer label inside for ‘Keith Prowse & Co London’ Brazilian Rosewood veneered case with boxwood stringing, floral decorative inlay to lid and front, gilt brass handles to sides. Case and mechanism professionally restored, sold with 2 year guarantee Measuring 59 x 26 x 17.5 cm / 23 ¼ x 10 ¼ x 6 ¾ ins

No. 46242

No. 46447

©1873 Nicole Frères mandolin format in a luxurious truncated case with brass inlay. Maker installed zither attachment over the comb. plays 8 tunes on a 17” cylinder

No. 46461

9th century Swiss musical box by 'Nicole Freres', playing eight aires on a 30cm drum with steel comb (damaged), and six bells. The case overall 54cm wide approx.

No. 46747

Ebay 2022 Nov 16

No. 47111

No. 47419

The double-spring motor has engraved spring barrels, another rare sign of exclusivity and grandeur. The combs, signed by Nicole Freres, are perfectly in tune and have no broken teeth or damper noises. All of the cylinders have a perfect set of pins. Very little overall wear to the mechanism is evident, indicating a lightly-used instrument. VISIT SHOP: https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/usicaltreasuresofmiami?_trksid=p2047675.m3561.l2563

Ebay 2022 Okt 18

No. 49151

Ebay 2022 Okt 12

No. 50000

A company that absolutely refused to compromise quality and perfection, to the extent that they saw their business deteriorate in the late 1870's, due to the large-scale manufacturing of competitors in St. Croix, who could not match Nicole's quality but could compete better on price. The Nicole brothers exited the business around 1880, selling their firm to an English firm who then subcontracted the mechanical works to others, while still retaining the Nicole Freres name. Thus, beware of any post-1880 music boxes (beginning with Serial #50,000) as they are not of the prior standards.

No. 50342

No. 50816

©Double-Springed Nicole Freres Music Box dating from late 19th century with original Tune Sheet showing 8 tunes, many of which are very well known. The box is marked with the importer: F Pitman, Importer, 20, Paternoster Row, London. The box is in very good condition with no woodworm. The lid and marquetry has been brought back to life by one of the major people in the country and probably one of the very few able to take on this kind of work . You can now see the colour of the woods as they used to be. The woods used are: Pear, Box, Tulipwood, Rio Rosewood and Harewood. The front and back of the lid have been french polished to bring out the shine and restore the beauty. All the brass fittings are original. The tunes play well and there is no damage to the comb or tips. There are a few dampers that could do with sorting out and the occasional nudge to start the tunes playing but other than this, everything works very well. Please listen on this link: https://youtu.be/lx_sPlr-wZ8

Ebay 2022 May 30

No. 51322

©No. 51322, playing 10 traditional folk airs including "Come under my Pladie" and "Caller Herrin", Gamme No. 2529 and No. 642, accompanied by 10 optional bells, with 68 teeth in the musical and 6 teeth in the percussion combs (both complete), speed control, spring-barrel stamped "322", comb stamped "Nicole Freres", transfer "Nicole Frères, Fabricants à Genève et à Londres", leaf-bordered tune sheet with globe logo, grained case with veneered front and veneered and inlaid lid, wd. 25 ½ in. (65 cm), cylinder 13 in. (33 cm).

No. 52256

No. 52516, 12th: Estudiantina Valse

Higher resolution

Serial No. 52[4or5]16, Gamme, No. 5882, L. No. 532, post-1884, playing twelve operatic and music hall airs, with double spring motor, single-section comb flanked by six drum and five tooth bell combs on lever-select, separate four hammer strikers for castanet, plain polished tuned bells arranged to two tier buffet, on reeded cast bedplate, ebonised interior with Nicole Freres banner, in part veneered case with intricately inlaid and crossbanded lid and front with musical instrument and scroll centres - 25 wide in. (64cm), the cylinder 13 in. (33 cm). Note the stencilled case serial number being 52516 and the inscribed number being 52416, altered with a cross through the 4 for a 5. After about the 50,000 serial number, Nicole was offering Paillard boxes and these later Gamme-boxes also had L, or production numbers - in this case very similar at a quick glance to the serial number - which may explain the discrepancy of the numbers shown. This movement has always belonged in this case and this box is just four entries away from the highest serial number recorded for this maker on the MBSGB register.

No. 52550, 1st: Prayer
2nd: Home Sweet Home