1930s Inlaid Sorrento Jewellery Box With Ballerina

( JB391 )
SOLD ~ Please contact us if you are looking for a similar box and we will endeavour to source one for you!

Beautiful vintage musical jewellery box with a dancing ballerina. Made in Sorrento, Italy, in 1936. Original quilted satin panels to the interior. Original working lock with new fitted key.

1930s Inlaid Sorrento Jewellery Box With Ballerina

Please contact us if you are looking for a similar box and we will endeavour to source one for you!

This is a beautiful vintage musical jewellery box, made in Sorrento, Italy. It dates to the 1930s and has a pretty ballerina.

The Exterior

This box is made of Olivewood and has beautiful inlay made of various Fruitwoods.

The inlay is on the lid and all four sides of the box. That to the lid features mythical creatures and leafy vines 'tied' in a bow design. There is further geometric inlay to the edges of the lid and also to the feet of the box.

The lid is complete with its original long brass piano hinge and its original working lock. A new key has been fitted to the lock.

The Interior

The interior has two hinged compartments at the top which swing open. Beneath these are two further compartments in the base of the box. The musical movement is in the centre of these compartments, concealed by a ledge, and a ballerina is situated here.

The bases of all four compartments have their original padded and quilted satin panels. The walls of the compartments have new quality textured blue paper linings. These linings have been added by our skilled box restorer. The satin is a lovely powder blue shade.

The ledge above the movement has its original satin covering.

The inside of the lid has its original large inset oval mirror. This is surrounded by a beautiful inlaid oval frame.

The Ballerina

The ballerina has her original painted detail and her original puffy layered skirt with a gold tie. There is lovely stitching detail to the skirt. She also has her original 'swinging' legs with chain fitments. She has a long metal pin beneath her skirt and this slots into a fine metal tube in the centre of the ledge above the movement. The ballerina twirls around and moves up and down when the movement is wound. She will be sent wrapped in tissue paper so that she doesn't get damaged in transit.


This beautiful box dates to the 1930s. It has a specific stamped date of 26th Sept 1936. This can be found on the wood in the bottom left compartment, beneath the quilted panel. Our restorer has left this particular panel unglued so that the date can be viewed when desired. The date stamp is a lovely rare feature which is not often found on boxes.

The Musical Movement

The movement plays the beautiful tune 'O Sole Mio' which some may recognise from the old Cornetto TV advertisements. These advertisements used the 'O Sole Mio' tune and added the lyrics 'Just One Cornetto' etc.

Operating The Musical Movement

The movement is operated via the winding key on the bottom of the box. Four turns of the key are sufficient to play the tune in full. Care should be taken not to overwind the movement. Over winding will result in the movement malfunctioning.

Please note. The movement plays well 9 times out of 10, but occasionally refuses to play. When it plays, it is at its correct speed, and stops as it should, when the lid is closed, or when the movement has fully unwound.

Notes About Vintage Locks And Musical Movements

We would like to make you aware that vintage locks and movements can suddenly malfunction at any time. They are already very old and will naturally have some wear from age and use. We are not responsible for locks and movements that may malfunction from further age and use once boxes are purchased. We check locks and movements prior to shipping but please ensure they are still working as soon as you receive your box.

You can view our full returns policy which includes locks by visiting our Payments And Returns page.

Our Skilled Box Restorer

You can read about Jim, our wonderful box restorer, by visiting our About Us page.


This lovely box is in very good condition for its 80 years of age. It is structurally sound and has no splits.

All of the inlay is present and intact. There is minor light age-related wear/fading to the wood.

The interior Satin is in nice condition with a few tiny marks/light discolouration. The new paper linings are in excellent condition, being new.

The mirror is securely seated and has no chips or cracks. It is, however, showing its age. It has some tiny foxing speckles and has become 'foggy'. You can however still see yourself and the reflection of the ballerina in it!

All of the hinges are still in good working order and the box locks securely with its new fitted key.

The top left compartment does not close in fully when the lid is open. Please ensure you hold this in fully before positioning the lock keep in its lock. The compartment will then stay in its correct position once the lid is closed.


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

Length:  24.5cm (across the lid)
Width:   15.0cm (across the lid)
Height:  12.5cm (including feet)

Top Compartments x 2:

9.8 by 6.2cm with a 3.5cm depth.

Lower Compartments x 2:

11.0 by 6.9cm with a 4.5cm depth.


This box will be posted FREE within the UK by Royal Mail Next Day Special Delivery.

International postage is £15 by Royal Mail International Tracked and/or Signed For postage. Delivery is fast, within 3-5 working days to Europe and 5-7 working days to the rest of the world.

Shopping Basket