Rare Musical Tortoise

Our cover picture illustrates a very finely carved musical tortoise. It is 9 inches long and contains a standard photograph album-type two-air musical movement, maker unknown. The novelty does not accord with the Black Forest style of carving but the maker and the place of tortoise manufacture is known as shown on the red label: Chr. Ritschard, Sculpture, Montreux. Nothing seems to be known about him but the workmanship of this Swiss carver is of very high and realistic quality. The abbreviation for the first name seems to be for Christian. The ‘shell’ is tinted and shaded and its rather ‘cheeky’ face looks up with exquisite glass eyes.

Extract from article in Winter 2017 edition of “Mechanical Music World”