Superb Rare Japanese Vintage Musical Jewellery Box

( JB434 )
SOLD ~ Please contact us if you are looking for a similar box and we will endeavour to source one for you!

Beautiful Japanese vintage jewellery box playing oriental music. Beautiful hand painted decoration both inside and out. Working lock and key. The box has some wonderful rare features and is in lovely condition.

Superb Rare Japanese Vintage Musical Jewellery Box

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

This is a beautifully decorated Japanese jewellery box with several rare features. It was made for the Japanese home market, as opposed to being made for export, and hence plays a beautiful oriental tune. Please see below for further details on this very special box.

The Exterior

The box has a glossy black lacquered finish and is decorated all over with beautiful hand-painted Japanese landscape scenes. These scenes include Mount Fuji, temples, bridges and other motifs.

The large scene on the lid is on a raised panel and is surrounded by a beautiful frame of inlaid Abalone shell. This is colourful and has a beautiful iridescent shine. The front, back and both sides of the box, also feature hand-painted scenes.

There is a pretty engraved metal escutcheon to the keyhole.

The box has 2 drawers to the front and 2 compartments inside (see below). It is complete with its original hinges and original working lock and key.

The drawers have metal handles and stoppers at the back which prevent them from falling out.

The Interior

The interior has 2 compartments at the top. These raise up on their own accord as you open the lid of the box. They are attached to quality cantilever hinges which allow this automatic lift-up mechanism. The compartments have lids with polished white metal hinges and the lids are complete with their original tassells. They have a black lacquered finished and hand-painted scenes, in keeping with that on the box's exterior.

The inside of the lid has a fitted mirror with a stunning hand-painted scene. This features a Geisha girl in traditional costume, holding a parasol. It also features a beautiful bridge above a body of water, a temple, a birdhouse, and mountains. The Geisha and birdhouse have a lovely raised texture.

There are two panels below the top compartments, above the storage drawers. The right-hand side panel has a black lacquered finish and the musical movement is concealed beneath this. It can be removed should the movement ever require attention. There is enough space here to store a few treasured photos or small unfolded letters etc.

The compartments and drawers have beautiful deep blue ribbed cord linings, as does the panel above the left drawer. The mirror is beautifully framed with the same material.

The Musical Movement

The movement has a beautiful rare winding feature and a rare playing system. The movement is wound via a disc on the right side of the box, which has been disguised as a Water Wheel. The tune plays via two systems, either when the lid is opened or when the left drawer is pulled forward. The movement plays a beautiful oriental tune because it was made for the Japanese market. There is no 'foreign' stamp on the bottom of the box which is a further indicator of this.

The above are all rare features that we personally have not seen before. Boxes of this type usually have winding keys on their bases, tunes aimed for English speaking markets, movements that play via one opening method only, and Foreign stamps on the bottom.

Operating The Movement

2 winds of the disc are all that's required to operate the movement.

The movement stops, as it should, when the lid/drawer are closed, or when it has fully unwound.

Notes On Vintage Musical Movements And Locks

Care must be taken not to overwind the movement. Overwinding will result in the movement malfunctioning.

Vintage movements/locks are already old and will naturally have some wear from age and use. They may occasionally deteriorate or malfunction over time.

We are not responsible for movements/locks that may deteriorate/malfunction from further age and use once a box is purchased. Neither are we responsible for movements that malfunction from overwinding.

Please ensure the movement and lock are working as soon as you receive your box. They will be checked again prior to posting.

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




This lovely box is in excellent condition for its 55/65 years of age. It has sound structure and the musical movement and lock are in good working order. 

The colours of the paint are still vivid.

The interior felt linings are still neatly fitted and have no splits or fraying. They have a few minor light stains and ring marks, none of which are overly unsightly.

The mirror is lovely and has no chips or cracks. It has some slight 'fogging' and a little loss of paint to the bridge.

There is some minor wear/chipping to the lacquer around the bottom edges of the feet. This isn't visible unless you look at the box from the underside.

The wear is commensurate with age and honest use.


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

Length:  21.3cm
Width:   15.3cm
Height:  12.2cm

Top Storage Compartments x 2:

8.8cm square with a 2.0cm depth.

Left Drawer Compartment:

12.8 by 10.6cm with a 2.8cm depth.

Right Drawer Compartment:

5.0 by 4.7cm with a 2.8cm depth.


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

International postage is £25 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. Delivery may be longer depending on the speed of your local postal service and/or if your package has to go through customs.

Please visit our Orders & Delivery page for further details.

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