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Music Box

Despite being a common gift for children during the 20th century, the music box in fact originates from the snuff culture of past centuries. Sniffing tobacco had become a popular habit in Europe from the 17th century onwards, with the powdered form being stored in both handheld and larger tabletop boxes. Extravagant snuff boxes became a way of exhibiting one's wealth, leading to the insertion of mechanics which produced a melody when the box was opened. The charm of this technology was incorporated into other items, such as watches, toys and jewellery boxes. Jewellery boxes are now one of the most common types of music box, with their popularity growing since the late 18th century. A familiar design for the musical jewellery box is the figure of a twirling ballerina accompanied by the melody of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.

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