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MMD > Archives > March 2001 > 2001.03.06 > 01Prev  Next


Piano Executant Artiste by Thibouville
By Lorraine Aressy

Last week, Brian Chesters asked about a mysterious book music sold
by Imhof & Mukle in London.

Attached there are five pages from the 1893 catalog of "fils d'Eugene
Thibouville", owned by the library of our society.  This catalog was
issued in 1893 and lists the instruments sold by the successors of
the famous Thibouville who manufactured mechanical instruments such
as the Organina.  But at this time, most of the firm's production was
dedicated to "fanfare" with copper instruments.

As you can see in the catalog pages, the Piano Executant Artiste may
be operated either manually (by hand crank) or electric powered, and
it was intended especially for dancing at home.  Thibouville advertised
1,400 titles of music for it but, sorry to say, we have not the
catalog!  The price was high: 1800 F for the crank model, plus 350 F
additionally for the electricity model, which is to be compared with
the 40 F to be paid for an organette such as the Ullmaniphone which was
advertised at the same time.

A funny thing you can read about the electric model is about what they
call the "second installation".  If you already have electricity at
your home you only have to connect it to the motor.  If not, you may be
provided with a battery of galvanic cells, not only to have the piano
working, but also its two lights and, the most important, you may use it
for special applications such as electroplating, nickel-plating, gilding
and silvering -- all pastimes very easy to do in your music room!

Lorraine Aressy - Perforons la musique
Toulouse - France

 [ The catalog says: "The Piano Executant Artiste is the only French
 [ piano containing a mechanism that can reproduce pneumatically, with
 [ the help of punched cardboards, the musical airs."  I'll place the
 [ images at http://mmd.foxtail.com/Pictures/
 [
 [ Last weekend Lorraine attended an antique photo fair, hoping to find
 [ a new model magic lantern for use with her grind organ.  She says,
 [ "The fair was very disappointing, as every fair is now since eBay
 [ exists."  -- Robbie


(Message sent Tue 6 Mar 2001, 12:48:46 GMT, from time zone GMT+0100.)

Key Words in Subject:  Artiste, Executant, Piano, Thibouville

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