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1870 or so Mason & Hamlin unusual 2 manual organ.

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    1870 or so Mason & Hamlin unusual 2 manual organ.

    This was up in Minneapolis yesterday for $75 and I have to say that this is really quite a cabinet for a reed organ. It must have been a special order case, or at least something Mason & Hamlin had made for someone who wanted to make a statement about how much money they had laying around when you went into the parlor. I think the action is what was used in the Style 32 that's illustrated in some of the catalogs in the earlier 1870's. The trim that looks like it's gold leafed picture frame molding, is actually cast brass. It plays a little but, but not much of course. Looks like it hasen't been messed around with very much. It definitely has it's issues, but that should be no surprise. It was in the back room of a 2-3 bedroom ranch house. The gal that had it died a few months ago, and her husband passed a few years ago. His grandson said he liked to take the stuff home from auctions that nobody bid on, so I have no idea where it originally came from. Minneapolis and St. Paul had some people up there in the 1870's that had a lot of money, so it probably came out of one of those houses when so many of them got demolished starting in the early 1930's.

    #2

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      #3
      Cripes! Please tell me you rescued this. Style 12 "Extra Finish" I think.I have a plain Jane style 12 from 1866.
      Casey

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        #4
        I dragged it home of course. It's in my basement and I did kind of take it apart some, only to clean it up and get the spider eggs and most of the dust out of it. It's dated 13 November, 1866 on the front of the lower manual. That thing sure has a lot going on with the inlay. It's too bad they didn't do a little more with crossbanding on some of the panels, but that's mostly just where there is no inlay going on. Most of the damage there is where it's just walnut, so that shouldn't be too hard to sort out. It has to sit for the time being as I have too many other things on the plate right now. It barely plays and sounds pretty good. There's a couple of broken stop knobs and some missing faces, but overall it's in pretty decent shape all things considered. Doesn't seem to ever been blessed with mice either, which is hard to believe.

        A style 12. I kind of wondered which number it was assigned. I only have a couple of Mason & Hamlin catalogs and two of them are reprints. Some of that information can be found on line of course, but that's pretty limited.

        Here's a few more pictures of the bellows, end panel and keyboard cover on the front. The top of the lid is decorated the same way.

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          #5
          Thanks for the pics. I have already shown it to the reed organ tech group om FB, and believe me, you would have no trouble getting back your investment of $75.
          I see it has the shellacked canvas bellows cloth. I have only run across that stuff once before. It dissolves in alcohol. I don't think it had any great longevity.

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            #6
            That's funny Casey. I really don't do much on facebook. I had an early organ with that red cloth on it a long time ago, and it was stamped "Firestone" on the inside. I saved that part of the cloth and maybe I'll run across it someday. I wonder if it was a combination of linseed oil and shellac? Painters did a combination of that for window shades back in the 19th century. Linseed oil would stay soft a lot longer and they may have put shellac over it to keep it from sticking to itself, or keep the linseed oil from getting hard as quickly. They sure did some weird things in those days. At least to our way of thinking, but they didn't have all the stuff to work with that we do today. Lots of stuff coming out of the woodwork these days, that's for sure. And almost no interest in most of it.

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              #7
              Wow! If I had any left I would give both eye teeth for something like that! Beautiful solid and ornate woodwork with skillful inlays. This is an example of excellent workmanship of yesteryear. For certain it found a good home and please do not forget to post more pictures.

              Nico
              "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

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                #8
                I would have given my 1st born child for this (he's over 40) . LOL

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