I am offering for sale what is the largest and finest Artrio Angelus
reproducing piano roll collection in the world, including an upright
Artrio Angelus piano and what is believed to be the only known
remaining Artrio Angelus Vorsetzer (or "cabinet player", as Wilcox &
White called it.)
The roll collection consists of over 700 individual titles (almost half
of the Artrio library) including the largest grouping of rolls recorded
by Leopold Godowsky, substantial recordings by Yolanda Mero, Ethel
Leginska, Tina Lerner, Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler as well as many superb
recordings by lesser known pianists. There is a large selection of
popular songs also.
Artrio Angelus was a product of the Wilcox & White Company of Meriden,
Connecticut. It was the brainchild of company executive and mechanical
engineer Frank White and P.K. Van Yorx, musical director and roll editor
par excellence. The Artrio Angelus was the fourth and last important
reproducing system, introduced to the market in 1915.
Those in the know have acknowledged the Artrio Angelus to be perhaps
the finest of the reproducing systems. It had the smallest market
share of the four major systems and just isn't that well known to
Wilcox & White went into bankruptcy in 1921 and Carle Conway of
Hallet & Davis and Simplex Player Action Company acquired the company
assets in 1922. The Wilcox & White name was retained for the roll
recording and production under the continued direction of P.K. Van
Yorx. Simplex manufactured the player and expression action which
was then available in the high quality products of the Hallet & Davis
Ownership of the roll library passed to QRS at the beginning of 1926
with limited recording continuing up to about 1928 when the Meriden
studio was closed.
There are extremely rare rolls included in this collection, many of
which are the only known copy. Almost all of the rolls are in very
good to excellent condition.
You can hear examples of two Artrio Angelus rolls, played by Ethel
Leginska and performed on the excellent 5'8" Hallet & Davis piano in
the Bannister collection.
This is a rare opportunity to acquire a collection of such rarity and
importance that it would be impossible to duplicate today. As Dave
Junchen once told me, "This is the 'Holy Grail' level of collecting!"
Photos of the piano and Vorsetzer are available along with a complete
listing of the 700+ rolls.
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