Item #5: Saucer-shaped metal & wood music box
This was one of my favourite things to play with at my grandparents’ house when I was really young. To my memory, it had always been there and had always looked the same – not like a toy at all but a strange metal bowl-like object with a wooden back and single dial that, when turned, plinked out a cheerful melody (Strauss’ “Blue Danube” waltz, to be precise, but I didn’t know that at the time). In fact, some of my earliest memories are of playing with this music box while my grandmother did her sewing, being fascinated by it, turning the dial over & over again, and I’m sure, adding a few dents of my own to its already world-worn exterior.
All I can remember being said about it was that it had been brought from France, where my grandparents lived during WWII and where my Dad was born before moving to Canada at a young age. It looks like it may have once been the base where a figurine stood, but I may never know for sure. Whatever it was, it had been thought important enough to be included among the rather limited possessions that took the voyage across the Atlantic with them.
I forgot all about it for years, until my Grandmother died. Most of the few things she left behind had already been cleared out of the house, and I was taking one last walk through before everything else would be thrown away and the house put up for sale. And there it was, in the corner of the basement, a little bit warped but still functional. It was the only thing I took.