When the Tsar’s family visited the World Exposition in Paris in 1900, the Stella Imperial Orchestra Grand No. 202 caught the eye of Alexandra.
Mermod Frères was founded in 1816 and for many years one of Switzerland's premier maker of cylinder music boxes.
In the 1890s they widened their scope and began manufacturing disc-style music boxes. The firm's main products were the Stella and the Mira mechanism. Distributors in England, America, France and other countries would import the mechanisms and fit them into custom-made cabinets.sources
The Stella Imperial Orchestra Grand No. 202 is a disc-style music box that used discs without projections. This means that protruding studs on the underside of the disc activate spring-loaded star wheels which in turn pluck a reed in the musical comb.
The 25" in diameter disc in our collection has been preserved from the Alexander Palace in St. Petersburg.sources