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Illuminated Manuscript Music Box

Art and music combine in this charming music box. The outer paper box features a detail from Mira Calligraphiae, an illuminated model book of calligraphy in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum. Inside, a high-quality sound mechanism is mounted on a resonance board for sound quality. The melody "The Blue Danube" by Johann  Strauss ll plays when the hand crank is turned.

- Box dimensions: 2.25 inches x 1.75 x 1.25 inches
- Made in China
- Item #: GMB09


From 1561 to 1562, Georg Bocskay, court secretary to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I, created the Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta in Vienna to demonstrate his technical mastery of the immense range of writing styles known to him. About thirty years later, Emperor Rudolph II, Ferdinand's grandson, commissioned Joris Hoefnagel to illuminate Bocskay's model book. Hoefnagel added fruit, flowers, and insects to nearly every page, composing them to enhance the unity and balance of the page's design.

 
Dragonfly, Pear, Carnation, and Insect
Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 - 1600) and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575)
Flemish and Hungarian
Vienna, Austria (Place Created)
1561–1562; illumination added 1591–1596
Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment
Object Number: Ms. 20 (86.MV.527), fol. 76
Dimensions: Leaf: 16.6 × 12.4 cm (6 9/16 × 4 7/8 in.)