At first glance this piece, which was made c.1875-80, appears to be just a good quality burr-walnut davenport of the type with a rising stationery compartment.
However, concealed within, is a Swiss musical box.
This rare piece, at the intersection of furniture making and mechanical musical, combines the talents of three different firms.
The London furniture maker Edwards and Roberts provided the casework. The mandolin cylinder musical box was made by AB Bremond, a Geneva musical box maker whose main body of work dates to the mid to late 19th century, while the clever side mechanism for changing the cylinders bears the mark of Blumberg and Co, a London cabinet maker last documented in 1871. Very few such pieces have ever appeared on the open market.
As a rule, Victorian davenports have dipped in popularity from the days when a really good example might bring £3000-5000.
However, this rare iteration, of particular interest to mechanical musical collectors, improved on its £4000-6000 guide to take £9500.