Latest Appraisals: What Am I? #2

Do you know what I am?

Occasionally, when I go out to do appraisals, I come across items that are more interesting than most. This is the second of three objects I found that I wanted to share with you.

Can you guess what it is?

Here’s a clue: It plays music. You’re right, it’s a music box of some type but not just any music box, it’s an antique rotating Christmas tree stand/ music box.

Made by the Stuttgart, Germany company, J.C. Eckardt, in approximately 1901, this mechanical instrument plays two Christmas tunes and rotates. Given its size, (14.5 inches x 9.5 inches high) you might wonder what kind of tree could possibly fit into such a small cup, and you’d be right in thinking it can’t be for a very large tree. As a matter of fact this stand was for German-made feather trees that were popular during that time.

Feather tree image from Pinterest

The feather tree was placed into the cup and secured by three bolts. You would then turn the key to wind the spring up. According to an interesting video I watched, this particular product had a spring four times the size of most musical tree stands of that era. This meant that it could play tunes and rotate the tree for 40 minutes before having to rewind it.

There’s also a device in the front that looks like a long pin. Pulling it up or down adjusted the speed of the music. What if you only wanted the tree to rotate but the music box to remain silent? There’s a lever for that on the base of the unit.

Most of the examples that were in good condition sold for over $500 but be aware that some dealers were selling these units for the same price without the cup or tree holder. Condition, as is for antiques in general, is very important.

Have you seen one of these before?

3 thoughts on “Latest Appraisals: What Am I? #2

    1. To get the full effect you would also need to have a feather tree and a good sized one otherwise the music box would dwarf the tree. I have seen them individually but never together – probably because the feather trees were so fragile. A neat find.

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