Friday, January 23, 2015

Finishing the inside of my Flat Top Casket

 I have always loved music boxes~ especially the huge disk boxes....have ALWAYS wanted one. A good music box is extremely hard to find~ the only ones that I 'like' , as in have beautiful musical arrangements and sound quality, are antique ones, and cost zillions of dollars. A few years ago I ran across a GREAT website on the internet . There is no way I would ever buy a music box, old or new, without being able to HEAR it first...I mean, it makes sense doesn't it? wanting to actually HEAR what something sounds like...when the whole purpose of the thing is to make sound?????  Yet....I could find no one on the internet that sold boxes who had videos or actual sound samples!!!!  That is, until I came across Rick, Steve & Roger at BMB. They have sound samples of all of the movements they sell~ and hey, if they dont have the tune your looking for, they'll make it for you!  They prefer to talk on the phone~ which to me, is a sign they are honest, and committed to their work. The customer matters to them, and they bend over backwards for them. Ill never buy another movement from anyone else, that's for sure!  So last year, I ordered a 72 note Sankyo movement of the Moldau . Oh My Goodness! The arrangement is even better than the 12 minute original!!!!  And even better, its going in the bottom of my flat top casket!!

 Had to make some modifications and add a sounding board to the bottom of the casket first, with a resonant channel going thru the center. Before I glued in the sound board, I got the gold leaf out and gilded the edges

 The movement is heavy, and I didn't want to have to flip the box in all directions to paper it afterwards, so fully papered the outside~ put a wonderful pink hand marbled paper from Dear friend Vito Vernotico on the bottom. Here its all drilled for movement installation and bun feet
 The movement is shipped with a protective plastic cover, which I kept on while working to protect it. Here I have cut 4 mirrors to line the inside of the cavity~ it REALLY makes the inside look huge and wonderful...but too new out come the mirrors  to be antiqued....
 To antique the mirrors, I have to carefully strip off the back paint to get to the silvering, which I then have to treat with while all of this is going on, between steps I whittled four corner brackets from some scrap pine.
  These got a layer of 22k gold leaf and will be placed in the corners to hold up the cover glass, which is needed to protect the movement and keep it dust free
 Aged mirrors installed, I can now measure and cut the cover glass
  After cutting the glass to size, I edged it in gold foil Dresden paper trim in a pretty seashell pattern, and then stitched two pull tabs from the silk I am using for my lining. I used the salvedge edge out, which has a wonderful lush 1/4" of fringing. PERFECT!
After removing the plastic cover and installing the clover glass, the inside of my flat top base is finished! I used a 1620 title page from Livre de Fleurs for the bottom plate~ do watch the video and listen to this gorgeous box, its so fabulous!  If  you decide to go for a movement yourself, (or one of their beautiful boxed movements) be sure and tell them Rachael sent ya!


Reconstructed Fabulousness said...

I love that the excitement in your voice is barely contained in the video ~ like you have just received the best gift ever! I LOVE everything about your flat top casket so far! I would LOVE to do this ~ do you think you would consider instruction videos / kits with the mirrors and other bits with us sourcing the music box! or are there just too many variable for it to be feasible for those of us who do not have your abilities!!!


allys said...

How wonderful!

Barbara Brown said...

So happy you finally got a music box you love!! Now, just don't wear it out playing it!! LY, Mom

D1-D2 said...

The song is lovely. What is it called?

D1-D2 said...

I can't stop listening to the song. It's so beautiful.

Rachael Kinnison said...

Thankyou~ the tune is the 'Moldau'~ available at

Francesca said...

The beauty of your music box casket made my jump over the chair ! Really amazing. I was lucky to find an old music box in London many years ago and can say that the quality of the sound of yours is identical to the old one, differnt song but same style of sound...wonderful !
I'm working on a my own reproduction of a 17th C Stumpwork Mirror wich is at the Metropolitan and I will need an aged mirror too, may I ask you what acid did you used to make your ? I'll be gratefull.