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What to do with an Earhuff pump organ?

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  • FatBear
    started a topic What to do with an Earhuff pump organ?

    What to do with an Earhuff pump organ?

    We have an Earhuff pump organ, made in St. Paul. My wife did some googling and says that puts it between about 112 and 130 years old. While that's certainly "antique", we're aware that it is probably not very valuable. My wife cannot bear to see it just tossed out, so we need some advice on how to move this on to someone who will value it or restore it or whatever.

    It was given to her in the 1980s in payment of a debt, but she doesn't play any instrument and I don't play keyboards. It did actually play as recently as about 8 years ago, but mice got into it while we were out of town a few years back and probably chewed up the bellows or something. Also most of the gingerbread was removed when we moved here to San Diego county in 2003 and was never put back on. We've got that in the garage.

    The guy she got it from told her that it has a flute stop which he said was unusual. I don't know if that really adds any value or not. The same guy had also done some refinishing.

    We'd like to move this organ along to someone who wants it. If it is worth anything we'd like a fair price, but if it isn't we'd still like to give it to someone who will value it. I'm not writing this as an advertisement, but as a request for advice. Is it likely that anyone would want it? How can I determine its value? Where would I advertise it? Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you

  • Organfella
    replied
    Well done! Thanks for the feedback and for sharing the sentiments to keep this piece of antiquity among the living!

    Nico

    Leave a comment:


  • FatBear
    replied
    Well I have some surprising good news. As I mentioned above, I reposted it on CL for free. And I renewed the posting when it expired. I'm almost done with the trim and the organ was just days away from the dump. Then I got an email and the guy come to get it this afternoon. He owns a wedding venue built around a really old farmhouse and he wants it for a set prop for wedding photos. He is going to restore the carcasse, but said he had no plans to make it functional again. When I told him that the bellows had been restored in 1970 and was still in good shape except for the mouse hole he did raise an eyebrow. I think that's probably the easiest part of the restoration so he might even do that.

    Coincidentally, my wife has been bugging me to open a stuck drawer in another old antique she has. I finally did it this morning and found that all of the missing parts to the organ were in there. So it should be fully restorable with all original parts. Timing is everything.

    Whew! I'm glad we were able to send this on to a good home. And my wife can be happy about its future rather than glum.

    Thanks for all the help and support.

    Leave a comment:


  • Organfella
    replied
    Hang on to it for as long as you can. There may be someone on this Forum located close enough to warrant the trip to collect it. I sincerely hope that this beautiful piece of antiquity will be preserved for the generations that follow us.
    Luck!
    Nico

    Leave a comment:


  • Warrentdo
    replied
    There are quite a few on Ebay with a few watching so showing interest.
    https://www.ebay.com/bhp/pump-organ
    yours looks as good if not better than most of them.
    Warren.

    Leave a comment:


  • FatBear
    replied
    There's zero chance of any instrument dealer in southern California taking this organ - even if it were fully restored. My difficulty in selling it for even $100 (or so far even giving it away) illustrates that there is no market and those dealers are paying a lot of money for every square foot in their shops. I used to be a retailer and you could easily spend $1000 to give away this organ through a retail dealership.

    Also, I have a friend whose wife was in the antique business. She died and he has been trying to sell out her stock and close their two shops. It is taking a very long time even at close-out prices. He says there is simply no market for antiques. Young people these days want the newest thing and will dump things even a couple of years old to get the newest thing. They don't buy old. And the old people are retired, downsizing and getting rid of their antiques. It's a tough time to move even a 100+ year old organ.

    Hopefully synthchaser will decide he wants it before I am forced to toss it. Right now I am still able to squeeze around it as I paint long, narrow trim boards. Next it is back to cabinetry and I will need the space it is occupying.

    Leave a comment:


  • Organfella
    replied
    It would indeed be a pity to euthenize that beautiful instrument, particularly since the history is well known. Do you not have a musical instrument dealer nearby where it can find a temporary stand and marked for sale? Now I am sorry to live a zillion miles away, I'da taken it in a wink!

    Luck!
    Nico

    Leave a comment:


  • FatBear
    replied
    PM me if you want it. I just couldn't quite bear to trash it yet, so I tried advertising it one last time; this time for free. I did get interest from one guy who wanted to put an electronic pedal organ setup in it, but it was too narrow for him. Even that would be better than sending it to its grave. I do still have the organ in the garage and can help you load it if you want it...

    Leave a comment:


  • synthchaser
    replied
    Sad... I saw you posted in on CL over the weekend and would have gone for it if I didn't have too many other projects. (And I wouldn't have put a synthesizer in it).

    Leave a comment:


  • FatBear
    replied
    Well the organ never sold from classifieds or Craigslist, so I guess it's off to the dump. Too bad, it seems like it would be a nice organ with just a bit of work.

    Leave a comment:


  • FatBear
    replied
    OK, I have posted it in the classifieds. Thanks to everyone for your help and advice.

    Leave a comment:


  • FatBear
    replied
    Oh, duh. Sorry, I was looking for a for-sale forum and didn't see the classified link at the top. I'll go there.
    Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • Silken Path
    replied
    The best place would be in classifieds - link at top of page. Be sure to include a picture or two.

    Leave a comment:


  • FatBear
    replied
    Is this the correct place to advertise the organ for sale? I'm certainly open to suggestions. I'm not in it for the money, I'd just like to make sure a 100+ year old antique doesn't get trashed.
    Thanks.

    Leave a comment:


  • FatBear
    replied
    Well Terri was not able to find a family member to take the organ so I have placed an ad in Craigslist. It is here and I welcome comments, suggestions (or offers!)

    https://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/...685313141.html

    Thanks for the help.

    Leave a comment:

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