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How Much Is A Regina Music Box How Much Is A Regina Music Box

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How Much Is A Regina Music Box

Written by: Missie Jensen

Discover the cost of a Regina music box and indulge in the timeless beauty of these musical treasures. Find out how much a music box can add charm and nostalgia to your home.

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Table of Contents


Welcome to the fascinating world of Regina music boxes! These beautiful and intricate machines have captivated music enthusiasts and collectors for over a century. With their stunning craftsmanship and melodic tunes, Regina music boxes are a true testament to the artistry and ingenuity of the past.

But what exactly is a Regina music box? In simple terms, it is a mechanical device that plays music using a series of tuned metallic discs or cylinders. These discs or cylinders are inserted into the music box, and as they rotate, tiny pins or bumps on the surface of the disc or cylinder pluck the teeth of a metal comb. This creates a unique and enchanting sound that fills the room.

Regina was one of the leading manufacturers of music boxes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Their music boxes were renowned for their exquisite design, impeccable craftsmanship, and unparalleled sound quality. Regina music boxes were highly sought after by music enthusiasts and collectors alike, and they continue to be highly desirable pieces today.

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of Regina music boxes, exploring their origins, the different types available, the factors that affect their prices, and where you can buy one for yourself. So, sit back, relax, and prepare to be transported to a bygone era of music and elegance as we explore the captivating world of Regina music boxes.


What is a Regina Music Box?

A Regina music box is a mechanical musical instrument that was produced and popularized by the Regina Company in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These exquisite music boxes were known for their exceptional quality, intricate designs, and mesmerizing melodies. The Regina music box was a staple in many affluent households and was considered a status symbol during its prime.

At its core, a Regina music box consists of a rotating disc or cylinder that is adorned with tiny pins or bumps on its surface. When the disc or cylinder spins, these pins engage with a series of metal combs, creating a delightful sound. The combs are equipped with carefully tuned teeth that produce specific musical notes when they are plucked. The notes blend harmoniously to create enchanting melodies that can vary depending on the specific disc or cylinder being used.

One of the distinguishing features of Regina music boxes is the ability to change the tunes by swapping out the discs or cylinders. This versatility allowed owners to enjoy a wide range of music and adapt the music box to suit their preferences. The discs or cylinders were typically made out of metal and were meticulously crafted to ensure optimal sound quality.

Regina music boxes were available in different sizes and designs, ranging from small tabletop models to grand floor-standing cabinets. The exteriors of these music boxes were often beautifully crafted with intricate woodwork, delicate inlays, and ornate embellishments. The overall aesthetic appeal and craftsmanship of a Regina music box were as important as its musical capabilities.

These music boxes were revered not only for their technical prowess but also for the emotions they evoked through their melodies. They provided a source of entertainment and a way for individuals to unwind and immerse themselves in the beauty of music. Whether in grand parlors or intimate settings, Regina music boxes added an element of sophistication and elegance to any space.

Although no longer in production, Regina music boxes have stood the test of time and have become highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. The intricate craftsmanship, the attention to detail, and the historical significance of these musical treasures continue to enchant people around the world, making them coveted additions to any collection of antique and vintage musical instruments.


Origins of Regina Music Boxes

The story of Regina music boxes dates back to the late 19th century when Gustave Brachhausen and Paul Lochmann founded the Regina Company in Rahway, New Jersey. The company was initially established as a distributor of sewing machines, but they soon ventured into the manufacture of music boxes – a decision that would shape the course of their success.

Regina music boxes were first introduced to the world in 1889 at the Paris Exposition. They quickly gained attention for their exceptional craftsmanship, innovative mechanisms, and superior sound quality. The Regina Company became renowned for producing music boxes that surpassed the quality of their European counterparts.

The early Regina music boxes were primarily equipped with metal discs instead of the more traditional cylinder design, setting them apart from other manufacturers of the time. This innovation allowed for increased playing time and a wider selection of tunes, as multiple interchangeable discs could be used with a single music box.

Regina’s commitment to excellence in design and engineering led to several patents and improvements over the years. One of their significant contributions was the development of the “double-comb” mechanism, which resulted in a richer and more resonant sound. This innovation solidified Regina’s reputation as a leader in the music box industry.

As Regina music boxes gained popularity, the company expanded and established a factory in Rahway, New Jersey. The factory employed skilled artisans and craftsmen who meticulously assembled each music box by hand. The intricate woodwork, ornate inlays, and attention to detail showcased the commitment to quality that became synonymous with the Regina brand.

Regina music boxes were not limited to the American market. The company successfully exported their products around the world, gaining international recognition and expanding their influence in the European market. Regina music boxes were highly sought after by music enthusiasts, collectors, and even royalty, cementing their status as coveted luxury items.

Unfortunately, the glory days of the Regina Company were cut short by the advent of new technologies, such as the phonograph and radio, in the early 20th century. These advancements in sound reproduction signaled the decline of mechanical music boxes, including Regina’s creations. The company ultimately halted production in the 1920s.

Despite their discontinuation, Regina music boxes continue to be cherished and sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. Their historical significance, exceptional craftsmanship, and mesmerizing melodies remind us of a bygone era of mechanical marvels and musical enchantment.


Types of Regina Music Boxes

Regina music boxes were available in a variety of types and styles, each offering its own unique charm and musical capabilities. Here are some of the most notable types of Regina music boxes:

  1. Tabletop Music Boxes: These were small-sized music boxes designed to be placed on tabletops or other flat surfaces. Tabletop music boxes were typically compact and portable, making them a popular choice for personal use and entertainment in smaller settings.
  2. Cabinet Music Boxes: Cabinet music boxes were larger and more ornate than their tabletop counterparts. These music boxes were housed within elaborately crafted wooden cabinets, featuring intricate carvings, inlays, and other decorative elements. Cabinet music boxes were often made to be the centerpiece of a room, commanding attention and admiration with their beauty.
  3. Disc Music Boxes: One of Regina’s key innovations was the use of metal discs in their music boxes. These discs were typically made of pressed metal and featured precisely placed pins or bumps that engaged with the comb mechanism. Disc music boxes offered a vast selection of tunes, as multiple interchangeable discs could be used with a single music box.
  4. Coin-Operated Music Boxes: Regina also produced coin-operated music boxes, which were often found in public places such as arcades, saloons, and hotels. These machines allowed individuals to insert a coin to activate the music, providing entertainment for patrons while also generating revenue for the establishment.
  5. Specialty Music Boxes: Regina music boxes were not limited to standard discs and cylinders. The company also produced specialty music boxes, such as those that played multiple tunes, featured animated figurines, or incorporated other unique mechanisms. These specialty music boxes were highly sought after by collectors due to their rarity and the additional charm they brought to the musical experience.

Regardless of the type, each Regina music box was a masterpiece of craftsmanship and engineering, offering an enchanting musical experience that captivated all who listened. Whether you prefer the elegance of a tabletop music box or the grandeur of a cabinet music box, owning a Regina music box allows you to cherish a piece of history while indulging in the beauty of mechanical music.


Factors Affecting the Price of Regina Music Boxes

When it comes to determining the value and price of Regina music boxes, several factors come into play. These factors can significantly influence the cost and desirability of these antique musical treasures. Here are some key factors that affect the price of Regina music boxes:

  1. Rarity: The rarity of a specific model or variation of a Regina music box can greatly impact its price. Limited production runs, unique designs, and uncommon features can make certain music boxes more valuable and sought after by collectors.
  2. Condition: The condition of a Regina music box is of utmost importance when determining its value. Music boxes in excellent working condition, with original components and minimal wear or damage, tend to command higher prices. Restoration or repairs can affect value, so collectors often prefer music boxes that have been well-preserved over time.
  3. Age: Generally, older Regina music boxes are more valuable due to their historical significance and scarcity. Music boxes dating back to the late 19th century, when Regina was at its peak, are highly coveted by collectors and tend to be priced higher than those from later years.
  4. Size and Type: The size and type of Regina music box can also impact the price. Larger and more elaborate models, such as cabinet music boxes with intricate woodwork and ornate decorations, are often valued higher than smaller, simpler tabletop models.
  5. Musical Range: The selection of tunes and the complexity of the musical mechanism can influence the price. Regina music boxes with a greater number of interchangeable discs or cylinders that offer a wide range of melodies might be more desirable and valuable.
  6. Provenance: The history and provenance of a Regina music box can contribute to its value. Music boxes with notable ownership or a documented connection to a historical event or figure may attract a premium among collectors who value the added significance and story behind the piece.

It’s important to note that market conditions and collector trends can also impact the price of Regina music boxes. Supply and demand dynamics and the overall interest in collecting these antique musical instruments can fluctuate over time, affecting their value in the marketplace.

Ultimately, the price of a Regina music box is determined by a combination of these factors, along with the negotiation and agreement between the buyer and seller. Collectors should consider their personal preferences, budget, and the specific characteristics of the music box when determining the fair market value and deciding on a purchase.


Collectability and Rarity of Regina Music Boxes

Regina music boxes hold a special place in the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts, making them highly sought after in the world of antique musical instruments. The collectability and rarity of these remarkable music boxes contribute to their enduring appeal. Here are some key factors that determine the collectability and rarity of Regina music boxes:

  1. Production Numbers: The limited production numbers of Regina music boxes contribute to their rarity. As a company, Regina manufactured music boxes for several decades, but the total number of units produced during that time was relatively small compared to other mass-produced music boxes of the era. This limited quantity adds to their desirability among collectors.
  2. Surviving Examples: The survival rate of Regina music boxes plays a crucial role in their rarity. Over time, many music boxes were damaged, lost, or destroyed, making the remaining examples even more scarce. Collectors are constantly on the lookout for Regina music boxes in good condition, adding to their appeal and value.
  3. Specific Models and Variations: Certain models or variations of Regina music boxes are more rare and collectible than others. Limited edition or special edition releases, as well as unique designs or features, can make specific models highly sought after by collectors who aim to have a comprehensive and diverse collection of Regina music boxes.
  4. Age and Historical Significance: Regina music boxes from the late 19th century, when the company was at its peak, are particularly valuable due to their age and historical significance. These earlier models represent the height of Regina’s craftsmanship and innovation, making them fascinating artifacts that tell the story of mechanical music in the late Victorian era.
  5. Uncommon Features and Accessories: Regina music boxes with rare or unusual features and accessories are prized by collectors. For example, music boxes with animation mechanisms, decorative carvings, or intricate inlays can be highly sought after due to their unique and captivating qualities.
  6. Provenance and Historical Connections: Regina music boxes with documented provenance or historical connections add an extra layer of fascination and desirability. If a music box can be traced back to a notable collector or has a connection to a famous event or person, it becomes an even more prized piece among collectors.

The combination of these factors contributes to the collectability and rarity of Regina music boxes. Collectors are continually searching for these exquisite music boxes to add to their collections, ensuring that these valuable pieces remain celebrated for generations to come.


Historical Prices of Regina Music Boxes

The market for Regina music boxes has fluctuated over the years, with prices varying based on factors such as rarity, condition, and demand among collectors. While precise historical pricing can be difficult to pinpoint, here are some general trends and examples of historical prices for Regina music boxes:

During the 20th century, especially in the mid-1900s, Regina music boxes experienced a decline in popularity as new technologies like the phonograph and later, the radio, became more prevalent. This shift in musical entertainment preferences contributed to a decrease in demand for mechanical music boxes, including those made by Regina.

However, as interest in antique music boxes and historical artifacts grew in the late 20th century, Regina music boxes began to regain their allure among collectors. The scarcity and craftsmanship of these music boxes propelled their prices upwards.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the price range for a standard Regina music box in good condition typically ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on factors such as size, age, and design. Rare and exceptional models with unique features or limited production numbers commanded even higher prices, sometimes reaching into the five-figure range.

By the early 2000s, as the demand for Regina music boxes continued to rise, prices experienced another significant increase. Collectors eagerly sought out these mechanical treasures, driving the market prices to new heights. Higher-end Regina music boxes, particularly ornate cabinet models, could command prices ranging from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

It’s important to note that the prices of Regina music boxes, like any antique or collectible item, can vary greatly based on factors such as condition, rarity, provenance, and current market trends. Prices are ultimately determined by individual buyers and sellers, and negotiation plays a role in the final agreed-upon price.

For those interested in purchasing a Regina music box today, it’s advisable to research recent sales and consult with antique dealers, auction houses, or reputable collectors to get a sense of the current market value. This will help ensure that the price paid for a Regina music box is fair and reflective of its condition, rarity, and historical significance.


Where to Buy Regina Music Boxes?

When it comes to purchasing Regina music boxes, there are several options available to collectors and enthusiasts. Here are some places to consider when searching for the perfect Regina music box:

  1. Auction Houses: Auction houses that specialize in antique musical instruments and collectibles often feature Regina music boxes in their auctions. These events provide an opportunity to bid on a wide range of models, from more affordable options to rare and exceptional pieces.
  2. Antique Stores: Local antique stores and vintage shops can sometimes have Regina music boxes available for sale. It’s worth visiting these establishments and discussing your interest with the owners or staff as they may be able to guide you in the right direction or alert you when a Regina music box becomes available.
  3. Online Marketplaces: Online platforms such as eBay, Etsy, and specialized antique marketplaces can be excellent sources for finding Regina music boxes. These platforms often have a wide selection of models, allowing you to browse and compare prices from various sellers around the world. It’s important to thoroughly review the seller’s reputation and product descriptions when buying online.
  4. Collectibles Shows and Fairs: Attending collectibles shows, antique fairs, and flea markets can be a great way to discover Regina music boxes. These events bring together dealers, collectors, and vendors who specialize in all types of antiques, including vintage music boxes. Keep an eye out for upcoming events in your area or consider traveling to larger shows to increase your chances of finding the perfect Regina music box.
  5. Collector Associations and Forums: Joining collector associations and participating in online forums and communities can provide valuable connections and resources for finding Regina music boxes. Members often share information about upcoming sales, trade opportunities, and recommendations for reputable sellers.
  6. Private Sales and Estate Auctions: Sometimes, Regina music boxes become available through private sales or estate auctions. Keeping an eye on estate sales and contacting sellers directly can lead to unique opportunities to purchase Regina music boxes directly from owners or their family members.

Regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to do your research, verify the authenticity and condition of the Regina music box, and ask questions to ensure you are making an informed purchase. Consulting with experts or experienced collectors can provide useful insights and guidance throughout your search.

Remember, owning a Regina music box is not just about acquiring an antique instrument; it’s about preserving a piece of history and enjoying the timeless beauty of mechanical music. Take your time, explore different avenues, and ultimately find a Regina music box that captures your heart and brings the joy of musical enchantment into your life.



Regina music boxes have left an indelible mark on the history of mechanical music. These exquisite instruments, with their intricate craftsmanship and enchanting melodies, continue to captivate collectors and enthusiasts around the world. From the tabletop models to the grand cabinet pieces, Regina music boxes represent a bygone era of elegance and musical artistry.

Throughout their production, Regina music boxes showcased innovation, superior sound quality, and remarkable design. The rarity and collectability of these music boxes have driven their popularity among collectors, resulting in fluctuating market prices that reflect their historical significance and unique attributes.

When diving into the world of Regina music boxes, there are various avenues to consider, including auction houses, antique stores, online marketplaces, collector associations, and private sales. Each option presents an opportunity to uncover the perfect Regina music box to add to your collection or bring the joy of mechanical music into your home.

As you embark on your search, it is crucial to consider factors such as rarity, condition, age, and provenance to ensure you make an informed purchase. Consulting with experts, attending events, and connecting with other collectors can enhance your knowledge and guide you throughout your journey.

Owning a Regina music box allows us to appreciate the exquisite craftsmanship, immerse ourselves in the captivating melodies of the past, and preserve a tangible piece of musical history. Each Regina music box is a testament to the artistry and ingenuity of the artisans who created them, and they continue to inspire awe and admiration in the hearts of music lovers and collectors worldwide.

So, embrace the allure of Regina music boxes and embark on your own journey to discover these magnificent treasures. Whether you are a seasoned collector or a novice enthusiast, the magic of a Regina music box will enchant you for years to come.

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