But Judy's! It was black lacquer with fascinating Oriental designs, and a ballerina that twirled and danced when the box was opened, if the music box was wound up. It was beautiful beyond description in my eyes. My parents probably chose the recipient wisely because my stuff usually got torn up. I wore out or broke every doll and toy I had as a child, while Judy took careful care of hers. So had that amazing jewelry box been mine, there is no doubt in my mind I would have destroyed it. Judy may still have it, come to think of it, and it's probably in great condition unless I broke something on it.
The one I bought at the auction was in bad shape, really. It was very dirty on the outside, and the music box was frozen and could not be wound up. The mirrors were going bad too, but the inside velveteen was clean and nice, thank goodness.
Sunday morning I tried to wind it. No dice. It was still stuck fast. I got out little screwdrivers and figured the worst I could do to it was no worse than it already was. I got some penetrating oil and after I had the music movement out of the jewelry box I sprayed it and let it sit for a few minutes.
And then I fiddled and fiddled and fiddled...for two hours, trying to get it to go. I took off and put back parts, gently prodded the keywind and other parts, and just as I was about to give up, voila! The parts began to turn.
I put it all back together, and of course, it didn't work. Took it out, put it back and finally by manually turning the key, the lady began to dance. The spring was evidently wound much too tight or something because I turned it by hand a long, long time before there was no more wind in it.
I left it alone for the rest of the day and in the evening tried again. It worked! the lady spun and danced, the music played, and I was as happy as I was when I was a child, watching my sister's music box ballerina.
So now I have my own dancing ballerina music box at last. I am kind of embarrassed at the amount of time and energy I put into it, but I smile every time I see it. And I travel back in time whenever I wind it up and watch the lady dance.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.