A Sampling of the Collection
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ZITA mechanical fortune teller
ZITA
Although not musical, Mlle. Zita is a popular addition to the standard tour. A penny in the slot and a pull of the handle nets you your fortune. Mlle. Zita acknowledges your payment of the penny with a nod of her head, reaches for your fortune and drops it in the tray in front of the machine. Finally, she blows a kiss to send you on your way.
 4-Bird Cage Music box
4-bird serinette

Three bird "bird boxes" are very rare. Our collection includes an even rarer 4 bird music box or serinette. The "bird box" doesn't play music in the style of traditional music boxes. Instead, it uses tiny organ pipes, in conjunction with a pinned barrel, to mimic the sounds of birds. The caged birds, preserved by taxidermy, move their wings, heads and beaks in relation to the sounds of the small pipes. The effect is very realistic. The early boxes of this type were at first used to encourage pet canaries to sing. Later, in the 1890 to 1910 period, they were used as children's toys.

Outing Phonograph
Outing Phonograph

This small (under 24" high) phonograph made by the Outing Talking Machine Co. looks like a small spice cabinet when the stained glass doors are closed. As the music plays, a man dances with the demure maiden in a tiny mirrored ballroom.

An unusual feature of this phonograph is a cast "piano" harp, complete with tunable strings stretched over bridges that are in turn glued to a "sound board." The builders no doubt thought that this resulted in a richer, more resonant sound, as the round hole directly behind the strings is the opening of the "horn" of the phonograph.

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