Today saw the auction of the mechanical music collection of the
late Harold Smith of Leicestershire England, which included the 97-key
Imhof and Mukle barrel orchestrion. The prices of selected lots are
as follows. All prices are on the hammer, with an additional buyer's
premium of 12.5% and value added tax of 17.5% on the premium.
The Imhof and Mukle orchestrion made GBP 95000 and is believed to be
staying in Europe.
Musical boxes started high with an 8-inch table Polyphon making a
staggering GBP 920. An 11-inch disc Polyphon hall clock (incomplete)
made GBP 1500, and a similar Symphonion with 13-5/8-inch discs made
GBP 1600. A very nice-toned wall mounted 19-5/8-inch Polyphon made
GBP 4200 and a Mikado made GBP 6000.
A very clean Aeolian 46-note organ reached GBP 1850, beating a Model W
Orchestrelle, including electric blower, at GBP 1400.
Bargains were to be had in the piano department with an Aeolian half
Duo-Art upright at only GBP 210, but included were 88 Duo-Art rolls.
Worth it for the rolls alone! A Hupfeld Solophonola and Angelus
upright went for GBP 35 and GBP 20 respectively.
A nice sounding re-cased Black Forest 51-key barrel organ with six
barrels fetched GBP 3600.
A 30-note Piano Melodico in need of a complete restoration made a
creditable GBP 1250 and also included 25 music books, pretty rare
The most surprising bargain of the 79 musical lots was the Debain
Antiphonal piano of around 1850. This is in remarkable condition
in its rosewood case and included eight sets of plachettes in their
original boxes. This only made GBP 2400.
All in all, a day of highs and lows and, sadly, the end of an era.
Rest in peace, Harold, whilst your musical instruments live on.
[ Thanks very much for your report, Nicholas. The prices fetched
[ at a live auction are the best indication of market value.
[ -- Robbie