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This is an exceptional baseball display piece and one that would be a welcome addition to any advanced baseball memorabilia or music box collection.A quality fruitwood case with a glass door allows for viewing the metal discs that play on this upright music box by Thorens of Switzerland.Exquisitely crafted silver-plated baseball music box produced by the Fred Zimbalist Music Box Company.The ornate design features a large "baseball" with a hinged lid, and two crossed "bats," both of which sit upon a diamond-shaped base. An original photo of the 1967 New York production at the Music Box Theatre of Pinter's play, featuring Vivian Merchant, Paul Rogers, Ian Holm, Michael Craig, et al. Original black & white silver print photograph, 35.5 x 28cm including thin border (14 x 11"). With the Halsman copyright estate stamp on the verso along with penciled identification in a florid, unknown hand. It must be noted that this is a rare, one-of-a-kind handcrafted piece.
A blue-velvet padding lines the underside of the base.In the past 20 years we have seen approximately five other Zimbalist baseball music boxes offered at auction, but, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first time it has been accurately described.Because no manufacturer's markings are found on the music boxes, little was known about them, especially regarding their date of manufacture.The case in the form of a harp with enamel scenic panels on either side depicting a man and a woman in a forest setting with putti overhead; has acanthus gilt metal crown, turned column and scrolling feet. Plays 10 tunes with 7 silvered bells, snare drum on the left with 7 hammers, and castanet to the right with 6 hammers; has on-off switches for the drum, bells and castanets, play-stop switch and repeat-change switch to the right, internal ratchet crank. No broken comb teeth, only two hammers work on the drum, spring is broken but has caused no damage tocirca 1890s; double comb music box in lidded mahogany case, with foliate carved panel on front, 12 in. Sq., with separate matching stand, top supported by 4 columns, having brush slide on each side, over case with pair of paneled doors, 34 in.