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Rebuilding a music-box album.

Sometimes a restoration involves an object that resembles a book, but has so many modifications that it is difficult to determine what it is. The album below had a padded cover, a base, a box, and a wind-up musical unit, in addition to the photo pages.  When I received it for restoration, it was missing all the covering material. It looked like it had had a padded cover, because of the rounded edges, but otherwise there wan no clue as to what material and patterns were used to cover this album. So, basing my actions on my understanding of albums of the day–that is, the late 19th Century–I set to work recreating the album.

Music-box album, circa. 1890.

The box before restoration, with what looks like wallpaper inside. I wasn't sure if this was original, but I guessed it was. Either way, I left it as is. The album pages were typical of the period, thick card with a slot for a picture to slide into. The musical element needed some adjustment.

The clasp needed some adjustment to work properly, but it was still in reasonable condition, with no parts missing. Happily. There were so many different styles of clasps and brass decorations, many of them ornate, that replacing a part is very difficult.

The clasp needed some adjustment to work properly, but it was still in reasonable condition, with no parts missing. Happily. There were so many different styles of clasps and brass decorations, many of them ornate, that replacing a part is very difficult.

The final product.

Categories: 19th Century, Albums, clasps.

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