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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Coughlin

Antique of the Week

Updated: May 6

Schutz-Marke Symphonion


A Brief History

The Symphonion Company started business in Germany in 1885 and produced the first disc-playing musical box. Its founders were Oscar Paul Lochmann and Paul's two partners: Gustave Brachhausen and Paul Riessner. The Symphonion Company produced the largest variety of disc-playing musical boxes in the world.


To play songs, metal discs featured raised bumps and were warped accordingly so each bump was plucked at the correct moment. The disc rotated across metal combs that glide over the bumps to produce different tones and notes.


Antique music boxes, like the Schutz-Marke Symphonion, filled rooms with tunes that could be interchanged. Not only was the ability to switch songs in this manner a first for the time, but it was also a monumental step forward for the history of music.


Auction Ending 1/25/23: coughlin.hibid.com/lot/143755902


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