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above:the Reuge factory in Switzerland
NOTE: Since this post was written, Reuge has dramatically changed their website. And to one I find difficult to navigate and inexpensive looking. Therefore my following comments about the informative and well-designed site are no longer applicable.
I came across this company's site awhile ago. I can't recall what I was searching for, but I can assure you it wasn't music boxes. I've never fancied myself a music box sort of girl. Although I enjoy classical music (which most music boxes play) I've never considered buying myself a music box, let alone invest in one. But Reuge and their informative and impressive website has changed my mind. Once I landed on their page with it's austere and mechanical logo and the clean layout, I started clicking around.
Much to my enjoyment I found that I had stumbled upon not only 'art' but 'music'. Their music boxes (and that word does not do them justice) range from the traditional, elegant bird-in-the-cage-a-la-french-antiques type to black carbon and stainless steel music boxes that would make any modern maven sing with delight.
Magic Forest Singing Bird Automaton Music Box:
Volière de la Cour Singing Bird Automaton Music Box:
Singing Bird Alarm clock:
The Reverse Music Box in Mahogany:
The Reverse in white:
And their lovely melodies are there for you to listen on their site! Multiple options for each piece are playable with just the click of a mouse.
The Arche music box:
Burl wood music box with drawer to hold pens:
The Francastel music box:
They use every material you can imagine, from exotic woods to glass and enamels, and each is crafted by hand.
With music boxes containing sets of 16, 36 and 72 notes as well as ones that double as candle holders and incense burners.
The Music Box votive holder, Ambiente:
Music Box incense holder
Okay, so I was really impressed with their designs and array of offerings. But that was only half of it. Reuge (whose tagline is appropriately 'the art of mechanical music') has developed an unusually informative website. They have a time line of the history of music boxes, written in a digestible manner and not overwhelmingly pedantic.
They go into intense detail of every step of production (a lot goes into a music box!). They make it easy to browse through their products with rollover titles and nice large clean imagery. They have a wonderful section on craftsmanship with detailed images, down to applying a feather on a bird.
It's a rare product inventory indeed, but equally rare is a site that's such a pleasure to explore.
Singing Bird Poem music box:
Singing bird Sweetheart music box:
Singing Bird Black Tie Music Box:
Wood art deco music box:
Wanna really be impressed? Check out the FAQ link and you'll not only see every question a possible interested party or owner could have, but the numbers of people who have accessed that very question.
Suffice it to say, these products aren't cheap. And, as one would expect from master craftsmen they offer owner upkeep and a two year guarantee (with limitations). Even limited editions and custom designs are available. It is truly an art.
Which is why, at the beginning of this article, I said 'invest' in a music box. But from what I see and hear, it's a pretty wise investment.
Click here and see for yourself.