Large Vintage Hand Painted Musical Jewellery Box

( JB189 )

Large Vintage Hand Painted Musical Jewellery Box

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This is a large vintage musical jewellery box, dating to the 1940s/50s.  It was made in Japan and has its original Japanese musical movement.  It is also complete with its original key which locks the box securely.  The musical movement plays Beethoven's 'Fur Elise', the score of which was published in 1867, 40 years after Beethoven's death.

The Exterior

The box has a glossy black lacquered finish and is decorated with hand painted Japanese landscape scenes. This lovely decoration is on the lid and all four sides of the box.  The lid is further decorated with iridescent Abalone shell inlay.  

There is a very pretty engraved escutcheon to the keyhole and the box is complete with its original hinges.

The Interior

The interior has a lift up storage tray, which automatically rises when you open the lid.  The tray is in the form of an oriental bridge and has 2 individual storage compartments.
It has a black lacquered finish and hand painted scenes to compliment the decoration on the exterior.  The colours of the paint on the bridge are superb.  It has vibrant shades of red, pink, green and white, all beautifully highlighted with gold! 

The tray rises smoothly with its white metal cantilever hinges, and there is beautiful engraving to the hinges on the lids of the compartments.

Beneath the tray is a further compartment which is fairly large and roomy.  The musical movement is cased to the right of this.  This has a lovely lacquered cover, which can be removed if the movement ever needs attention.  In front of the casing is a further little storage compartment.

All of the compartments, and the inside of the lid, are beautifully lined with a ribbed blue cord fabric.

There is a lovely fitted mirror to the inside of the lid.

Operating the musical movement

The music is operated via a wind up key on the base of the box.  5 turns of the key are sufficient to play the tune in full.  The music stops as it should, when the lid is closed, or when the movement is fully unwound.

As with all musical boxes, care should be taken not to over wind the key.


This wonderful box is in excellent condition for its 65/75 years of age.  It is structurally sound and free of damage.

There is some light wear here and there to the lacquered finish, and some small areas of paint missing to the exterior.  The colours of the paint are still nice and vibrant. There are a few little pieces of Abalone shell missing.  

All of these little flaws are minor and do not spoil the overall appearance of the box.  The wear is as we'd expect for the age.

The interior linings are still in beautiful condition.  They are neatly fitted and have no splits or frays.

There is some 'speckled' cloudiness to the mirror, which is also as expected from the age of the box.


Please use the following measurements to ensure the box is the right size for your requirements.

Length:  21.0cm
Width:   15.5cm
Height:  13.2cm

Top Compartments x 2:

Each 7.0cm square with a sloping 1.2 to 3.0cm depth.

Bottom Compartment:

13.5 by 12.5cm with a 3.0cm depth.

Small Front Right Compartment:

5.5 by 4.0cm with a 3.0cm depth.


The box will be posted FREE within the UK by Next Day Special Delivery.

International postage is just £25 by Royal Mail International Tracked postage.  Delivery is fast within 5-7 working days.

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