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Vintage Music Box By Mele When Irish Eyes Are Smiling Vintage Music Box By Mele When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

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Vintage Music Box By Mele When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Written by: Rubetta Lepage

Discover the enchanting melodies of our vintage Music Box by Mele. Let the iconic tune of "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" transport you to a whimsical world of nostalgia and joy.

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Table of Contents


Welcome to the enchanting world of vintage music boxes, where the melodious tunes and charming designs evoke a sense of nostalgia and wonder. Among the many renowned manufacturers of music boxes, Mele stands out as a prominent name associated with craftsmanship and quality. In this article, we will explore the captivating allure of Mele vintage music boxes and delve into the intricacies that make them truly special.

For centuries, music boxes have been treasured possessions, capable of capturing hearts and transporting listeners to a different era. Mele, a company founded in 1912 by Emory Mele, quickly established itself as a leading manufacturer of music boxes, garnering a reputation for their meticulous attention to detail and exquisite designs.

The timeless elegance of Mele music boxes continues to captivate collectors and enthusiasts alike. Whether you are a music lover, a vintage collector, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of finely crafted objects, a Mele music box is sure to enchant you.

As we embark on this journey through the world of Mele vintage music boxes, we will explore the history of Mele, the features that set these music boxes apart, the intricate design and construction, the melodies and tunes that bring them to life, as well as their collectibility and value. We will also provide valuable tips on how to care for and maintain these delicate treasures.

So, get ready to immerse yourself in the melodic harmonies and intricate beauty of Mele vintage music boxes. Let us begin our exploration of these timeless marvels that continue to captivate hearts and minds across generations.


History of Mele Music Boxes

The rich legacy of Mele music boxes dates back to their founding in 1912 by Emory Mele. What started as a small family-owned business in Hoboken, New Jersey, quickly evolved into a renowned manufacturer of exquisite music boxes that captured the hearts of collectors worldwide.

Emory Mele’s passion for music and craftsmanship inspired him to create music boxes of unparalleled quality and beauty. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to excellence, Mele quickly gained a reputation for their meticulous craftsmanship and innovative designs.

Throughout the years, Mele music boxes became a symbol of luxury and elegance, adorning the homes of discerning collectors and music aficionados. The company’s dedication to creating exceptional pieces propelled them forward, and by the mid-20th century, Mele had become a household name in the music box industry.

One of the defining moments in Mele’s history came in the 1950s when they introduced the concept of customized music boxes. This innovative approach allowed customers to select their preferred melodies and personalize the design of their music boxes, making each piece unique and meaningful.

As the decades passed, Mele continued to innovate and adapt to changing times. Their music boxes evolved in design and functionality, incorporating features such as rotating figurines, hidden compartments, and even automated movements.

Today, Mele music boxes are cherished as heirloom pieces, passed down through generations. Their timeless elegance and enduring craftsmanship serve as a testament to the legacy of Emory Mele and the dedication of the artisans who continue to create these masterpieces.

With a rich history spanning over a century, Mele music boxes have become cherished collectibles. The name Mele represents not only a brand but a tradition of excellence that has stood the test of time.

As we explore the features and allure of Mele vintage music boxes, we pay homage to their remarkable history and the vision of Emory Mele, whose passion for music and craftsmanship continues to resonate in every meticulously crafted music box.


Features of the Vintage Music Box

Mele vintage music boxes are renowned for their exquisite features that make them true works of art. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, these music boxes encompass a range of features that enhance both their visual appeal and functionality.

1. Materials: Mele music boxes are often crafted from high-quality materials such as precious woods, including mahogany, walnut, or cherry. The use of these fine materials adds a touch of elegance and longevity to the music box.

2. Handcrafted Designs: Each Mele music box is a testament to the artistry and craftsmanship of skilled artisans. Intricate carvings, inlays, and decorative motifs adorn the exterior, creating visually stunning pieces that are truly unique.

3. Music Mechanism: The heart of a music box lies in its music mechanism. Mele vintage music boxes feature high-quality Swiss or Japanese movements that produce rich, melodic tunes. Some models may also incorporate multiple cylinders or discs, allowing for a variety of songs to be played.

4. Tune Selection: Mele music boxes offer a wide range of tune selections, ranging from classical melodies to popular tunes. Customers often have the option to customize the tune selection, adding a personal touch to their music box.

5. Rotating Figurines: Some Mele music boxes feature enchanting rotating figurines that come to life as the music plays. These delicate, hand-painted figurines add an extra layer of charm and whimsy to the music box.

6. Hidden Compartments: Many vintage Mele music boxes have hidden compartments discreetly concealed within their design. These compartments serve both decorative and functional purposes, providing a secure place to store small treasures or keepsakes.

7. Size and Shape: Mele music boxes come in a variety of sizes and shapes, from small tabletop models to larger, grander pieces that make a statement. The shape of the music box may vary as well, with options such as rectangular, round, or even novelty shapes.

8. Engravings and Personalization: Some Mele vintage music boxes can be personalized with engravings, adding a touch of sentimentality and making them perfect gifts for special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, or birthdays.

9. Wind-up or Electric: While vintage Mele music boxes are typically wind-up, some models may feature an electric mechanism for convenience. However, purists often prefer the traditional wind-up mechanism for its nostalgic charm.

10. Antique Finish: Mele vintage music boxes may showcase an antique finish, adding to their timeless appeal. This aged patina enhances their vintage aesthetics and gives them a sense of history and character.

These are just some of the many features that make Mele vintage music boxes highly coveted by collectors and enthusiasts. The combination of exquisite craftsmanship, attention to detail, and charming features creates music boxes that are not only functional but also cherished pieces of art that mesmerize all who behold them.


Design and Construction

The design and construction of Mele vintage music boxes are a testament to the craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into creating these exquisite pieces. Each music box is meticulously crafted to ensure both aesthetic beauty and long-lasting durability.

One of the defining characteristics of Mele music boxes is their intricate and ornate designs. From delicate carvings and inlays to hand-painted motifs and decorative elements, Mele music boxes showcase the artistry and creativity of skilled artisans. The designs often draw inspiration from various themes, including romantic motifs, floral patterns, and even whimsical scenes.

The construction of Mele music boxes relies on high-quality materials to ensure their longevity. Premium woods, such as mahogany, walnut, or cherry, are often used to create the outer casing of the music box. These materials not only add a touch of elegance but also provide durability and sturdiness.

Inside the music box, precision-engineered mechanisms bring the melodies to life. Mele music boxes typically feature Swiss or Japanese music movements known for their exceptional quality and sound output. These movements, often made of brass and steel, are meticulously assembled and calibrated to produce the enchanting melodies that captivate listeners.

The interior of a Mele music box may feature plush velvet lining to protect delicate components and provide a luxurious touch. The inclusion of hidden compartments adds a layer of functionality and surprise, allowing for discreet storage of small treasures or personal mementos.

In addition to the design and construction of the music box itself, the components that allow the music to play are carefully selected. Metal pins or discs are strategically placed on a rotating cylinder or disc, corresponding to the notes of the melody. As the cylinder or disc turns, these pins or discs pluck the tuned metal teeth of a comb, creating the beautiful sounds that emanate from the music box.

Furthermore, Mele music boxes may incorporate additional features, such as rotating figurines or automated movements, adding an extra layer of enchantment to the overall design. These intricate details showcase the creativity and innovation that Mele music boxes are known for.

Overall, the design and construction of Mele vintage music boxes exemplify the fusion of artistry and technical precision. From the elaborate exterior designs to the meticulously crafted internal mechanisms, each music box is a testament to the dedication and skill of the artisans who brought them to life.


Melodies and Tunes

The melodies and tunes played by Mele vintage music boxes are an integral part of their charm and allure. Each music box is carefully crafted to produce enchanting melodies that evoke a sense of nostalgia and beauty. Mele offers a wide range of tunes, allowing collectors to find the perfect melody that resonates with their personal preferences.

One of the distinguishing features of Mele music boxes is their customizable tune selection. Customers have the option to choose from a selection of pre-set tunes or even request specific songs to be programmed into their music box. This personalized touch adds a sentimental value to the music box, making it a unique and cherished possession.

The tunes played by Mele music boxes encompass a variety of genres, ranging from classical and traditional melodies to popular songs and lullabies. Some music boxes feature melodies from famous composers, including Mozart, Beethoven, or Tchaikovsky, while others may showcase iconic tunes from Broadway musicals or beloved Disney films.

The melodies are produced by the intricate mechanisms within the music box. As the wind-up key is turned or the electric switch is activated, the cylinder or disc rotates, causing the pins or discs to strike the tuned metal teeth of a comb. This mechanism generates the captivating sound that fills the air, transporting listeners to a different time and place.

The quality of the music produced by Mele music boxes is of utmost importance. Their music movements, often sourced from renowned Swiss or Japanese manufacturers, are carefully calibrated to ensure exceptional sound quality and accuracy. The combination of precise craftsmanship and quality components results in melodies that are rich, melodic, and pleasing to the ears.

It is worth noting that the melodies played by Mele music boxes can vary in duration, with some music boxes offering shorter tunes, while others play more extended pieces. The melody selection and duration depend on the specific design and mechanism of each music box.

Whether you prefer the enchanting melodies of classical compositions, the nostalgic tunes of traditional songs, or the familiar melodies of popular music, Mele music boxes have a melody for every taste. The ability to personalize the tune selection allows you to create a music box that resonates with your emotions and brings joy to your heart with each delicate note played.

In the world of Mele vintage music boxes, melodies and tunes are not just sound; they are a gateway to nostalgia, beauty, and cherished memories.


Collectibility and Value

Mele vintage music boxes are highly sought after by collectors due to their exquisite craftsmanship, historical significance, and enduring appeal. The collectibility and value of these music boxes are influenced by various factors that contribute to their desirability in the market.

One of the key factors that contribute to the collectibility of Mele music boxes is their age. Older music boxes from the early to mid-20th century, with their intricate designs and high-quality craftsmanship, are often considered more valuable. The rarity of certain models or limited editions also increases their collectability.

The condition of the music box is another important factor that collectors take into account. Music boxes in excellent working condition, with minimal wear and tear, are highly valued. Any original packaging, documentation, or accessories that accompany the music box can also contribute to its collectible value.

The design and features of a Mele music box can greatly impact its collectability. Music boxes with elaborate carvings, unique motifs, or special features, such as rotating figurines or hidden compartments, tend to be more sought after by collectors. Limited edition or commemorative pieces may also hold a significant value in the market.

The historical significance or association with notable events or individuals can add value to Mele music boxes. For example, a music box that belonged to a famous musician or was part of a special exhibition might garner higher interest and value among collectors.

The reputation and legacy of Mele as a renowned manufacturer of music boxes further contribute to their collectibility. Mele music boxes are synonymous with quality and artistic excellence, making them highly desirable for collectors who appreciate fine craftsmanship.

The market demand and trends also play a role in determining the value of Mele music boxes. Popular or iconic models may experience increased demand, leading to higher prices in the collector’s market. Awareness of current market trends and prices can help collectors gauge the potential value of their Mele music boxes.

It is essential for collectors or potential buyers to authenticate the authenticity of vintage Mele music boxes and determine their originality. Consulting reputable experts, appraisers, or specialized dealers can provide valuable insights into the history and value of these collectible pieces.

Overall, Mele vintage music boxes possess inherent collectibility and value due to their timeless beauty, craftsmanship, and historical significance. Collectors and enthusiasts continue to appreciate and cherish these musical treasures, making them highly sought after in the collector’s market.


Care and Maintenance

To ensure the longevity and preservation of your cherished Mele vintage music box, proper care and maintenance are essential. These delicate treasures require gentle handling and regular upkeep to retain their beauty and functionality. Here are some essential care tips to keep in mind:

1. Handle with care: When handling your music box, always hold it by its base or sides to avoid putting pressure on delicate components or the lid. Avoid rough handling or dropping the music box, as this can cause damage to the internal mechanisms.

2. Keep away from moisture: Moisture can be detrimental to the wood and delicate mechanisms of the music box. Avoid placing it in humid areas or exposing it to direct sunlight, which can cause warping or discoloration. Be cautious of spills or moisture near the music box and wipe any accidental moisture promptly.

3. Dust regularly: Dust can accumulate on the surface and inside of the music box, affecting its appearance and functionality. Gently dust the exterior with a soft cloth or a feather duster. For hard-to-reach areas, use a soft brush or compressed air to remove any buildup.

4. Keep away from excessive heat: Extreme temperatures can damage the wood, glue, and metal components of the music box. Avoid placing it near heating sources, such as radiators or fireplaces. Similarly, refrain from storing it in excessively cold environments, as this can cause cracking or other damage.

5. Wind-up gently: If your music box operates with a winding mechanism, take care not to overwind it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the recommended number of turns for winding. Overwinding can damage the internal mechanisms and affect the quality of the music.

6. Avoid harsh chemicals: When cleaning the music box, refrain from using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the finish or delicate components. Instead, use a mild soap and water solution or specialized wood cleaners, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

7. Regular maintenance: Periodically inspect the music box for any loose or damaged parts. If you notice any issues, refrain from attempting repairs yourself, as it can cause further damage. Consult a professional music box restorer or repair specialist who has experience with vintage music boxes.

8. Keep in a supportive display: If you choose to display your music box, ensure it is placed on a stable and flat surface to prevent accidental tipping. Consider using a display case or protective covering to shield it from dust and potential damage.

9. Professional servicing: For valuable or antique Mele music boxes, consider having them professionally serviced every few years. This includes cleaning, lubricating, and inspecting the internal mechanisms to ensure smooth operation and prevent any potential issues.

By following these care and maintenance guidelines, you can prolong the lifespan of your Mele vintage music box and continue to enjoy its beauty and melodic allure for years to come.



In conclusion, Mele vintage music boxes are treasures that captivate the imagination with their enchanting melodies, exquisite designs, and meticulous craftsmanship. These timeless pieces have a rich history and an enduring appeal that continues to enthrall collectors and music enthusiasts alike.

From their humble beginnings in the early 20th century, Mele music boxes have evolved into sought-after collectibles, each with its own unique charm. The careful selection of materials, intricate design, and precision-engineered mechanisms make Mele music boxes not only functional but also works of art.

The melodies and tunes produced by Mele music boxes evoke nostalgia and create a sense of wonder. The customizable options for tune selection allow collectors to create a personalized music box that resonates with their own unique taste and emotions.

The collectibility and value of Mele vintage music boxes are influenced by factors such as age, condition, design features, and historical significance. These music boxes are cherished by collectors for their rarity, beauty, and enduring legacy as timeless pieces of artistry.

Proper care and maintenance are crucial to preserving the beauty and functionality of these delicate treasures. By handling them with care, keeping them away from moisture and excessive heat, and performing regular maintenance, you can ensure that your Mele music box continues to delight generations to come.

In the world of Mele vintage music boxes, the artistry, craftsmanship, and melodic harmonies come together to create a truly magical experience. Whether you are a collector, music lover, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of finely crafted objects, a Mele music box is sure to bring joy and wonder into your life.

So, let the melodies of a Mele vintage music box transport you to another time and place, where the enchantment of music and craftsmanship creates a world of beauty and nostalgia.

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