The CUENDETS (1818 – 1980er Jahre)

Abraham-Louis Cuendet

Emile L. Cuendet

Eugène Cuendet


Samuel Cuendet-Bachmann

Philippe Cuendet

John Cuendet

Edouard Cuendet

John & Edouard Cuendet (JEC-Rundlogo)

Jules Cuendet

Alfred Cuendet

Cuendet Frères

Otto Cuendet

Gilbert Cuendet

Ami Margot-Cuendet

Samuel Margot-Bornand

Paul Margot-Cuendet

Abraham-Louis Cuendet (1818–1850)

“The origin of our music boxes goes back to Abraham-Louis Cuendet, who secretly contacted the Lecoultre brothers in Bas-du-Chenit and Justice of the peace Piguet of Le Lieu.” (Favre 1865)

“It is more than likely that Abraham-Louis Cuendet reaped the benefit of this course of action; that he went to the Vallée de Joux, where the production of music boxes was advancing with giant strides; and that he met the Lecoultre brothers and Piguet in Le Lieu.”

“He was assigned an apartment in the Halles building in Sainte-Croix, where the authorities had put one floor at the disposal of craftsmen, at modest prices. He even asked for additional space in 1814, so he could work there with Samuel Cuendet, called ‘L´Anglais’ (‘the Englishman’). He paid fifty francs per annum for his accomodations in 1818.”

“Im March 1811, he became father of a little girl, of a son the following year, and of another daughter in 1814. He was young and no doubt motivated by the need to feed a young family. It is therefore possible that the first music box made in Sainte-Croix came from his workshop, which then became the Town Hall and which is today being restored by private initiative.” (Piguet)

Cuendet, Abraham-Louis, Switzerland. Maker of musical boxes c. 1810. (Ord-Hume, Musical Boxes, p. 299)

Cuendet, Abraham-Louis, Switzerland, about 1810, maker of musical mechanism. (Mosoriak p. 76-77)

Charles Huguenin

In 1818, Abraham-Louis Cuendet survived the famine and carried on with his établisseur activity, in cooperation with Charles Huguenin of Sainte-Sulpice.”

Emile L. Cuendet (=E. L. Cuendet), (1854 – 1952)

Cuendet, Emile, Hoboken, N. J., U. S. Patent 363,451, May 24, 1887. (Mosoriak p. 76-77)

Cuendet, Emile L., (citizen of Switzerland) Brooklyn and New York, N. Y., U. S. Patent 501,766, July 18, 1893. Co-patentee: 577,839, march 2, 1897. (Mosoriak p. 76-77 [erroneously two entries])

1887: music-box-related patent (Piguet, Music Box Makers, 2004, p. 48)

1890s: music-box-related patent (Piguet, Music Box Makers, 2004, p. 40)
Agent for Ami Margot (brother-in-law), opening the market on the East Coast (Piguet, Music Box Makers, 2004, p. 40)
Emile L. Cuendet was the first representing Mermod Frères (in cooperation with C. H. Jacot) (Piguet, Music Box Makers, 2004, p. 266)

Cuendet, Émile L. Born in 1858 at Ste-Croix, Switzerland, he worked for C. H. Jacot and subsequently went with them to America where they held the Mermod Frères agency. He became foreman for the company in 1893 and began evolving new designs.

By 1886 he was established at 21 John Street, New York, and ten years later became president of the American Musical Company of Hoboken. Here he produced the Monarch disc musical box, followed by the Triumph. He was advertising the Monarch from his John Street adress in 1896: `All styles from $8 to $400. Tunes 25 cents each.´ He died in 1952 aged ninety-four. He was a master at making overture boxes. (Ord-Hume, Musical Boxes, p. 299)

Photos of a music box marked “ELC” (=Emile L. Cuendet)

E. L. Cuendet (Mosoriak)

Eugène Cuendet

“At the beginning oft he thirties, Abraham-Louis Cuendet's son Eugène Cuendet, after finishing his apprenticeship, emigrated to New York where he distributed the watches and music boxes made by his father.”

“In 1831, Cuendet was one of the six “music box and watch traders”, registered by the municipality and in 1833, he was the first local manufacturer to subject his products to outside competition. It was at the first Exhibition of Swiss Industrial Products in Lausanne that he presented a large music box playing six tunes, with a solid comb, for the price of 88 £, as well as two smaller muxic boxes with two tunes, in the form of rectangular snuffboxes, at a price of 10 £ each’.”

“Abraham-Luis Cuendet gave up his industrial activity around 1850.”

Zu einer Abbildung der Unterschrift von A.-L. Cuendet; TMB 18, 5, 1998, p. 136, Nr. 10

(Compare Piguet, Faiseurs, (1996), p. 288-289, see Piguet, Music Box Makers, 2004, p. 60 and 209; Bellamy, Music Makers of Switzerland, (2015), p. 6)


Cuendet-Develay Frères,
Philippe Cuendet and his sons sons Charles and Samuel, (since the late 1870s until 1883)

“In the 1850s, Philippe Cuendet of Sainte-Croix earned a living working the land, and probably also doing odd jobs in the watchmaking and music box field. He married a Develay girl who supplemented the family income by giving lessons.”

“Together with his sons Charles and Samuel, Philippe Cuendet created Cuendet-Develay Frères at the end of the 1870s and participated in the Exhibition of Machines and Tools used in the Watchmaking Sector in May 1880 in Geneva.” (Only watches where exhibited, no music boxes.}

He went to the World Exhibition in Amsterdam in 1883 all alone, Switzerland not represented on account of the National Exhibition in Zurich. He saved the day for music boxes because he was awarded a silver medal, together with Langdorf of Geneva.”

Bellamy, Music Makers of Switzerland, (2015), p. 6: “Cuendet-Develay late 1870's”

Cuendet-Develay, Fils, et Cie. Switzerland. Makers of musical boxes c. 1891. In that year they devised a method of damping the teeth of a cylinder box comb by using a fork-shaped damper mounted upright below the tooth. They produced a musical box employing these patents and which played cylinders pinned to perform only one tune. The pins were like small nails and the idea was rugged durability, simplicity and cheapness of production. For the fortunate owner of the box, each new tune meant a new cylinder to buy, the only consolation being the wording of the label under the lid in place of a tune sheet which proclaimed `Patent Undestroyable [sic] Dampers´. A late version of this box could play cylinders each having three tunes. (Ord-Hume, Musical Boxes, p. 299)

“In the same year [1883] the partnership was dissolved and immediately reregistered under the name

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Cuendet-Develay Fils Cie.
(Philippe, his sons Charles and Samuel Cuendet,
Jan. 1883 – Dec. 1887)

with the same persons, with the objective of producing watches and music boxes.

Five years later [1888], following the withdrawal of Philippe, the company was again dissolved and then reinstated on 1st January 1888, as

Cuendet-Develay Fils & Cie (Charles and Samuel Cuendet, 1st January 1888 – ?)

with Charles and Samuel Cuendet, under the name Cuendet-Develay Fils & Cie., but they no longer dealt with watchmaking. The company employed eight workers in Sainte-Croix.”

Cuendet, Samuel, Ste. Croix, U. S. Patent 474, 520, May 10, 1892. Switzerland Patent 3,426, Feb. 18, 1891. Both assigned to Cuendet, Develay Fils & Co., Ste. Croix, Switzerland. (Mosoriak p. 76-77)


“That was the time when competition from the disc music boxes from Germany first appeared. The low cost of the spare discs and their easy interchangeability were a definite advantage. The company tried to find a way out by developing a cylinder music box, which met with success. This was called the Universelle, which, as its name suggested, made cylinder change easy for everybody. It also proved to be very strong, resisting all kinds of climate and manipulations, even the least delicate. The dampers were fitted in such a way that they could be declared indestructible, the pins were of a given length to reduce the teeth tips in order to prevent damage during cylinder change. In 1891, the music box Universelle was patented in all the relevant countries in the name of Cuendet-Develay. It had cylinders playing only one melody, at very competitive prices. Thus the manufacturer suceeded in reconciling the imperatives of the lowest possible cost price – to the extent that the Univeselle, a simple and solid product, lent itself readily to mass production, - with the imperatives of attractive sales prices. This allowed consumers to be constantly up to date when buying a cylinder box with the latest melody from their “usual music box dealer. Most of the Universelle pieces were supplied with three tuned bells, sometimes with drums and other noisy attachments. The boxes were well built but straightforward and came with a notice detailing the merits of the Universelle and the instructions for use. The cylinders were made from a very thin sheet of zinc, one layer of cement to hold the pins, also made of zinc. This presented the risk of deformation, with a negative influence on musical quality. Most of the tunes came from the operetta and music-hall repertoires and also some popular English songs. (Larry Karp in MBSI, Journal of Mechanical Music, autumn 1995, pages 30-33)”

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(Charles Cuendet & Seeger, 1894 – 1899),

“However, all the advantages of the Universelle faded into insignificance next to those of the ever more popular disc-playing boxes. Sales apparently did not come up to expectations. Therefore, in 1894, Samuel Cuendet decided to retire and so the company was dissolved and replaced by a new one, called Cuendet-Seeger, under the responsibility of Charles Cuendet-Seeger. It was to last five years, until 24th November 1899, when the latter withdrew, having meanwhile become involved in a business which would develop rapidly.”

Joined up with B. H. Abrahams, own factory in St. Croix since 1895, manager: Charles Cuendet-Seeger

“In fact, Cuendet-Seeger had meanwhile joined up with the Englischman Barnett H. Abrahams, who had a musical instrument shop in London, had a lot of experience in music box sales and had the necessary capital. The latter decided to open his own factory on 2nd September 1895, at No 3, Rue des Arts in Sainte-Croix and announced in the local press that he had appointed Charles Cuendet as manager, bringing with him the know-how of Cuendet-Develay.”

(Compare Piguet, Faiseurs, (1996), p. 289-290, see Piguet, Music Box Makers, 2004, p. 60 and 209-210, TMB 18, 5, 1998, p. 136, Nr. 11)

Samuel Cuendet-Bachmann, called “L´Anglais” (“the Englishman”, 1895 –1898)

“Samuel and Charles Cuendet, who were brothers, had been working together in music box production since 1883 and continued to do so until 1894 when their company Cuendet-Develay Fils was dissolved and taken over by Barnett H. Abrahams.”

“The two brothers went their own ways: Charles set up a company in his own name and then took over the management of the BHA = Barnett Henry Abrahams factory, [see above],

whereas Samuel Cuendet-Bachmann produced music boxes for a few years, without officially registering his company.

“On 27th July 1895, he “is looking for pinners, fitters and assemblers for the two-tune boxes”, then a competent handcrank fitter on 16th May 1896, and on 14th November he has work for pinners and assemblers for the two-tune 50-note pieces, a young boy to run errands between school hours, as well as a young worker, preferably somebody doing assembly work ’.”

“On 12th March 1898, Cuendet-Bachmann announced that ‘non-unionized workers are invited to contact the undersigned, who will give them preferential treatment’, which showed that he did not appreciate attempts on the part of the workers and the majority of manufacturers to regulate music box prices and work wages. He may even have been the author of the following advertisement published in the same edition oft he local newspaper: ‘A music box factory is for sale on account of the untenable position created by the trade union’. There is no further trace of the company.”

(Compare Piguet, Faiseurs, (1996), p. 290, see Piguet, Music Box Makers, 2004, p. 60 and 210-211)

Philippe Cuendet (*1868, établisseur, 1895: assembling own products; officially registered 1916 – 1824)

“Philippe Cuendet was born in the Prise-Perrier, near L´Auberson, on 27th April 1868. He tended the land of his father, Constant, and learnt the music-box-related trades with the local établisseurs until he felt capable of assembling his own products in 1895.

Philippe Cuendet ordered his boxes from Auguste Jaqués and gradually became familiar with the world of the établisseurs, without ever going as far as to officially create his own company.”

“At the turn of the century he took over the production and all the arrangements of the Emile Bornand-Wenger company, which was set up in Geneva in 1902.”

Philippe Cuendet carried on his production of musical movements and introduced his large family to the business, which was organized entirely on the farm, alternating with farming work.

In L´Auberson, where he had settled after his marriage, he was more or less indifferent to the problems of Sainte-Croix. Manufacturers were struggling with sales prices for musical alarm clocks and signed an agreement in 1910 in which they undertook to charge fair prices. Cuendet abided by the terms of the agreement, but gave warning a few months later that he could no longer do so, which created some commotion beyond the village borders. The problem was well nigh impossible to solve: the manufacturers signed agreements related to sales prices for the twenty-eight-note movements of the same type, with an inferior number of teeth which they of course sold for less. They could therefore ensure orders as long as their competition had not developed a similar model. Philippe Cuendet just could not keep up with the rest.”

Click here to see a Music box by Philippe Cuendet

(Compare Piguet, Faiseurs, (1996), p. 290-291, see Piguet, Music Box Makers, 2004, p. 60 and 211-212)

From Philippe to John Cuendet

“During the war, the établisseurs managed to survive by manufacturing music boxes and taking on all sorts of metalwork. Of his ten children, John and Edouard were particularly interested in this type of activity. After spending a year in the German part of Switzerland, John returned to L´Auberson.”

“Even though Philippe Cuendet only registered his company on 6th June 1916 – he had been making music boxes for over twenty years! It was definitely his son John who managed his affairs and who took over eight years later, on 30th May 1924, under the name

John Cuendet [1/2], manufacturer of musical movements for albums, and all kind of toys, movements for alarm clocks [...] (1924 – 1935)

Cuendet, John E. Auberson, Switzerland. In 1870 was making musical boxes. Most likely the grandson of Abraham Louis and brother of Émile. The Cuendet factory still makes small musical movements. (Ord-Hume, Musical Boxes, p. 300)

Cooperation with Francis Martin, „who managed to keep up music box sales, for a reasonable commission, well into the years of economic crisis.”  (Piguet 2004, p. 257)

“John-E. Cuendet, manufacturer of musical movements for albums, and all kind of toys, movements for alarm clocks, lighter wheels”, a trade name which he simplified in 1935 to

John Cuendet [2/2], manufacturer of all types of musical movements (1935 –?)

Perhaps a mouvement, stamped JC

Edouard Cuendet, manufacturer of all types of musical movements (1935 –1940s)

“As for Edouard Cuendet, he set up a workshop to make speed governor assemblies, which he sold to his brother [John]. The whole family was involved in music boxes, each according to his specific talent, and on the basis of everyday experience where family, land and music boxes provided the means of material existence. Vacation was not an issue, perhaps not even tought of “People were very happy”, said Nelly Martin-Cuendet. Her life was different to that of the women working in factories in Sainte-Croix, bound by industrial discipline, better paid but also spending more, threatening by unemployment in times of economic crisis.”

“John [and] Edouard Cuendet´s company only made musical movements and for this reason he did not participate in fairs or exhibitions, except for the National Exhibition in Zurich in 1939, where he accompanied six other local manufacturers. His products went to manufacturers of toys, souvenirs and other novelties, who sold them again as finished products. In the thirties, he had clients as fas as Germany, Austria, the United States, Yugoslavia, some Swiss tourist resorts and especially France.”

The French clientèle: Lourdes

“Cuendet sold movements to Paris, where they were incorporated into all sorts of useful and amusing objects, sometimes even some naughty ones”

“In Lourdes, he supplied movements playing the Ave Maria, much appreciated by the pilgrims. This market was of vital importance during the critical years. It represented sixty-five percent of the 1931 turnover and eighty-five precent in 1934, at the height of economic depression. Those were difficult times, requiring absolute managerial discipline, like in 1934, for example, when consignments for Lourdes were paid only once a year”

See examples of music boxes of Lourdes

“John Cuendet personally knew Blanchard and Laurent, agents for a shop in Lourdes. They sometimes came to L´Auberson and then every manufacturer tried to obtain their order. They appreciated the Cuendet movements for their meticulous finish and especially for the quality of their arrangements, which were becoming more an more popular. In fact, these movements were highly regarded far and wide for their musical qualities, considering their small size, wether it be in popular songs or extracts from Haydn or Mozart.”

John & Edouard Cuendet (1940s–1992)

1940s: partnership of the two brothers John and Edourd
“In 1940, the company was struck off the trade register and replaced by a partnership of the two brothers John and Edourd, with the objectice of producing and selling mechanical products, in particular music boxes. Edouard´s mechanical workshop gave the company the necessary autonomy to manufacture movements and consequently to benefit from the development of this sector during the postwar period”

“The rapid development of the company encouraged the Cuendet brothers to put up a building in L´Auberson, on the way to Les Grangettes.

1960s: 15 employees. In the sixties, there were about fifteen people working in the mechanical workshop, in packing etc., and about the same number of home workers for cylinder-tuning and music box assembly. Products ranged from single-tune eighteen-note movements up to four-tune fifty-note movements, for various destinations.”

1964: John Cuendet†. “In October 1964, an article appeared in a Musical Box Society International publication paying tribute to John Cuendet, manufacturer and arranger, who died on 17th July 1964, and who knew so well how to render the true spirit of dance music.”

“The management of the company was left to his brother Edouard and his two daughters, Renée, wife of Frank Joseph, and Frida, wife of Ami Jaccard, who both worked for the company, assisted by their respective husbands. After the death of Edouard Cuendet on 4th January 1972, his daughter Susy, wife of Jean-Paul Chollet, who ran the mechanical workshop, became a partner to their two cousins.”

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Reuge bought Mélodies SA, Lador SA and, in 1992, .Cuendet & Co.

1992: sold to Reuge. “Cuendet & Co. continued to make musical movements, but slowed down somewhat to follow the decreasing rhythm of the Swiss and international consumer market, until the managament decided in 1992 to sell the company to Reuge, who had already acquired Mélodies SA and Lador SA. The few employees still left, among whom Gilbert Cuendet, son of Otto, carried on producing for the German market, until such time as the new owner transferred comb production to Sainte-Croix. [Piguet 2004 does not explain who Otto Cuendet was]. He cleared out the factory in April 1993, without taking over the machinery which had been used up to then. As this did not meet the requirements of the Reuge production unit, Reuge only kept the arrangements and prototypes, some of which are still used today. The building was subsequently sold to Léon Jaccard.”

“John and Edouard Cuendet kept alive the production of small music boxes for nearly a century. Fine workmanship and excellent sound quality lent their products a certain nobility. It became their hallmark.”

“John Cuendet was widely known for the care he took to ensure the quality of the musical movements produced in his factory, to which he devoted the better part of his strength. He was a remarkable arranger and he knew how to give his movements extraordinary quality of sound.” (FAS 22nd July 1964)
(Piguet, S. 211-214)

(Compare Piguet, Faiseurs, (1996), p. 291-293, see Piguet, Music Box Makers, 2004, p. 60 and 211-212)

Jules Cuendet, L`Auberson (1828 – after 1948)

“The company is said to have been created in 1828 – which would make it the first on L´Auberson territory – by Jules Cuendet senior (?-?). He handed it down to his son, Jules Cuendet junior, 1830-1916, who developed it with much energy.”

Probably Jules Cuendet and Salomon Margot where partners.

Die Manufaktur von Jules Cuendet wurde 1828 in L`Auberson gegründet und produzierte bis in das Jahr 1948 hinein. (Das mechanische Musikinstrument, Nr. 121, 2014, S. 23)

Cuendet, Jules
Ste-Croix, Switzerland. According to a 1909 directory, Jules Cuendet was established as a musical-box manufacturer in Auberson in 1828 and was still flourishing in 1900. On the other hand, Jules Cuendet (which one is unknown!) was born in 1828 and died in 1926. He exhibited at the Éxposition Nationale de Genève in 1896, showing an interchangeable cylinder musical box with six cylinders, each playing three tunes. His trademark was an anchor entwined with a snake, and the initials `JC´ with the words `Marque Deposée´´ above.
(Ord-Hume, Musical Boxes, p. 300)

In der Sammlung von Denis Margot (L`Auberson, Schweiz) befindet sich ein Katalog von Jules Cuendet. Dort sind exklusive Walzenspieldosen mit bis zu 12 Musikstücken und mit Zylinderlängen von 3 Pouches (8,5 cm) bis zu 16 Pouches (43,5 cm) abgebildet, ebenso Orchesterspieldosen mit Begleitinstrumenten, wie Glocken, Kastagnetten und Trommeln, verschiedene Typen von Bahnhofsautomaten und Groß-Instrumente mit dazugehörigen Tischen, in denen die Wechselwalzen untergebracht sind. Es sind aber auch Kinderdrehdosen und Gebrauchsgegenstände mit Musikwerken zu sehen, bzw. einige Musikgegenstände für die Andenken-Industrie. (Das mechanische Musikinstrument, Nr. 121, 2014, S. 23)

“The workshop was installed in the building presently belonging to the Société Coopérative (Grand-Rue 122 today) and then moved to the eastern part of L´Auberson, at Grand-Rue 34. He provided work not only to people in the village but also beyond the border with Sainte-Croix, because the
home industry in Le Chȃteau supplied assembly work;
[the home industry in] Bullet, Les Rasses and Sainte-Croix provided the combs,
and [the home industry in] Culliairy and Vers-chez-Jaccard the blanks.”

“Jules Cuendet also provided to be very active in defending the interests of the music box manufacturers and also contributed towards the development of the community. He was a member oft he committee of the Société industrielle et commerciale, who delegated him in 1876 to prepare negotiations for a treaty with France in connection with copyrights on music boxes in 1883 and 1884. He suggested that the manufacturers join forces to fight the inferior quality which characterized the manufacture of small music boxes and which threatened its existence. He was also interested in exhibitions.”

Quality products
“The Cuendet company went to Zurich in 1883 for the National Exhibition, which was a first. It subsequently participated in 1895 in the Yverdon exhibition, Geneva in 1896 and Vevey in 1901, together with manufacturers from L´Auberson.”

“In Yverdon, Jules Cuendet exhibited a varied range of music boxes, from the small crankdriven toy selling for one franc twenty-five to twenty-four tune pieces, among which a flowerstrand in carved wood with wind instrument and automata, as well as a large box with interchangeable cylinders.”

“In Geneva, he brilliantly defended L´Auberson, his village, which he was the only one to represent. He showed “boxes with perforated disces replacing the cylinders” that he was one oft he first to manufacture in the region – he claimed being the first – for all we know together with André Junod, inventor oft he projectionless disc.”

He employed fourteen workers and dozens more home workers, and in 1904 his company was one of the most important in L´Auberson and one oft he biggest music box manufacturers of its time.

“His catalogue showed a nearly complete range of music boxes and musical objects made at the time. From handcrank-operated boxes to children´s toys, square wooden boxes with crank, to large boxes with guitar or mandolin, sublime harmonie, fortissimo, mandolin-bass-piccolo, with visible bells or drums.”

“In view of the success he had in 1894, Cuendet made music boxes with automata for restaurants or stations, with moving scenery. Also in response to popular demand, he made all the usual articles such as musical decanters and beer tankards, cigar-holders, toilet kits, Swiss chalets and other musical albums.”

“To combat competition from the disc music boxes, Jules Cuendet designed the Star, with interchangeable cylinders, which was patented on 18th July 1893. This should have brought him many advantages. However, that was not the case. The decline of the large music boxes defied even the most subtle improvements devised by the manufacturers. The comparative failure of the new interchangeable cylinder boxes and the inadequate sales of the disc-playing boxes led the company on a downward path and the First World War did the rest. His son-in-law, Ami Margot, who married Alice, Jules´ daughter, had in the early stages been trained in company management and took over the business.”

Jules Cuendet, senior manufacturer of Sainte-Croix, died on 12th February 1916, in L´Auberson, at the age of 86.”

(Piguet, S. 214-216)

Teilnehmer bei der Nationalen Ausstellung in Zürich 1883

Zum Sektionalkammspielwerk 16953

See also TMB 18, 5, 1998, p. 136, Nr. 12

(Compare Piguet, Faiseurs, (1996), p. 293-296, see Piguet, Music Box Makers, 2004, p. 60 and 214-216)

Alfred Cuendet (Stimmer)

(Saluz, Klangkunst, S. 48)

Jules Cuendet à L’Auberson, 1828-1916 (Chapuis, Alfred, Abb. 180, S. 195).
Jules Cuendet war Junods Onkel, und beide halfen einander öfters gegenseitig aus (TMB 16, 8, 1994, S. 237)

Ami Margot-Cuendet (1917–1944)

“On 2nd February 1917, Ami Margot-Cuendet, *1871–1948, took over from his father-in-law [Jules Cuendet junior] and like him, devoted his entire existence to the company. The market being as it was, he gave up producing cartels and concentrated rather on more standard pieces, from seventy-two to twelve notes, and even the five-note movements, but Jules Cuendet´s reputation haunted him, so when the local manufacturers wanted large boxes, it was to him that they turned.” “In 1930, the Margot-Cuendet company had a vast clientèle interested in rare and expensive boxes. In addition to America and the Swiss tourist resorts, they covered France, Germany, Austria, Norway and Holland, even Arabia. Most of the major companies in the Sainte-Croix region also ordered special boxes from Ami Margot. But in that particular year, a dreadful economic crisis loomed, and Ami contacted an agent in Lourdes where other factories had already sold thousands of cases of musical movements. The year after that, this Protestant company from L´Auberson joined the others in supplying Ave Maria-movements to the capital of French Catholicism.”

“In 1937, Ami Margot was one of the seven music box manufacturers who resisted all attempts to leave the area. He participated in the National Exhibition of Zurich in 1939 and survived the Second World War. Paradoxically though, thw explosion of orders which characterized the return to peace was fatal to the company, he had not invested the way he should have in order to remain competitive.”

Samuel Margot-Bornand (1944–1948)

“On 24th January 1944, Ami Margot transferred the company to his son Samuel Margot-Bornand. Like his father, Samuel has always been involved in the hardware business. Shortly after Ami died in 1948, at the age of seventy-seven, Samuel preferred giving up the production of music boxes.” (Piguet, S. 216-217)

(Compare Piguet, Faiseurs, (1996), p. 296-297, see Piguet, Music Box Makers, 2004, p. 60 and 216-217)

Cuendet Frères, St. Croix, 1880 ? – 1980, music movements with a superlative performance (Ord-Hume)

Hersteller zuerst großer Walzenspieldosen, knapp vor 1900 auch kleiner Modelle, aktiv bis nach 1980 als Fabrik kleiner Spielwerke für die Andenkenindustrie (Das mechanische Musikinstrument, Nr. 121, 2014, S. 22)

„Der Schweizer Heimatforscher Jean-Claude Piguet befasst sich in seinem Buch „Les faiseurs de musique Histoire de la boȋte à musique“ u.a. mit der Familie Cuendet. Dort sind hauptsächlich die familiären Verbindungen untereinander aufgeführt, eher nebensächlich werden die unterschiedlichen, von den Familienmitgliedern über die Jahrzehnte betriebenen Manufakturen beschrieben. Wenig aussagefähig sind leider auch die Hinweise zu deren Produkten. Wenn Cuendet der Hersteller dieser besagten Walzenspieldose gewesen ist, stellt sich immer noch die Frage hinsichtlich des möglichen Standortes der Manufaktur, in der dieses Instrument einst hergestellt wurde. Handelt es sich nun um Jules Cuendet aus L`Auberson oder um Cuendet Frères aus St. Croix? Erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass keine Aufzeichnungen von Cuendet Walzendosen bekannt sind, somit leider auch keine Seriennummern, denn nur in den seltensten Fällen wurden ihre Werke mit Seriennummern versehen.

Die Manufaktur Cuendet Frères in St. Croix war zwar als Hersteller großer Walzenspieldosen bekannt, deren Einzelkomponenten und sogenannte „Blanks“ bezog sie aber von Zulieferern. Zum Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts nahm sich die Firma zudem der Produktion kleinerer Werke an und war über einen sehr langen Zeitraum aktiv. Sie hat bis in die 1980er Jahre kleinere Werke, speziell für die Schweizer Andenken-Industrie, hergestellt.“
(Das mechanische Musikinstrument, Nr. 121, 2014, S. 22)

Cuendet Frères. Ste-Croix, Switzerland. Manufacturers of large musical boxes who, in the first decade of the twentieth century, produced small movements to suit the changing market. The firm continued under the leadership of John Cuendet, aided by his brother Edward until 1964 when John died. In the closing years of business, Cuendet was outstanding amongst the modern cheap musical-box makers in that, even from a very small movement, superlative performance was achieved – often better than that from a movement with twice as many teeth. The later products used thirty-six and fifty-note combs and, as well as popular music, Cuendet successfully pinned pieces by Haydn, Mozart and even Tchaikovsky´s Piano Concerto No. 1., The writer has seen a 1964 fifty-note box which played the `Harry Lime Theme´ continously on three turns. (Ord-Hume, Musical Boxes, p. 299)

Abbildungen / Dashboard

Ornamentbordüre bezeichnet Cuendet L'Auberson () un0-borduere/notenbanderolen

JEC () 9-15-52/JEC/JEC

JC (1) () fa/fa/JC

JC (2) () JC-heimlichlieb

JC (3a) () bordure JC-julces.cuendet

JC (3b) = Ornate bordure with few great leaves (2)
() 4444 bordure blattflach

Playmaster (John & Edouard Cuendet) ()

A great variety of small size Cuendet marked movements with tune sheets / weitere kleinformatige

Ornate bordure with many small triangle graphems

Ornate bordure with few great leaves (1)
() blaetter-gross-plast1 grossplast1

black mourning border,

Pocket size music box, tune sheet with a black line as border

Tune sheet green bordure
Various Music boxes by the Cuendets
normal size music box by Jules Cuendet (1)
normal size music box by Jules Cuendet (2) (),
Cuendet-Develay & Co ()

all together = , and additionally maybe delivered to the agent Foote, New York

Gesamtanzahl / Total:

Paul Margot-Cuendet ()

Weitere Cuendet-Musiktafeln

Paul Margot-Cuendet


Music boxes by the Cuendets ( music boxes)

Kleinformatige Spieldosen (1/3): JEC ( Spieldosen)

Kleinformatige Spieldosen (2/3): JC ( Spieldosen)

Nummerierte Spieldose Nr. 4930