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MMD > Archives > June 1997 > 1997.06.04 > 10Prev  Next

Faventia Miniature Barrel Piano
By Angelo Rulli

These were made in Spain in the 1950s and 60s.  The last advertisement I
have seen was in the Sears Roebuck Christmas catalog, December 1960.  The
piano, cart, donkey and grinder figure sold for $450.  That would have
bought a good used car 37 years ago! One of the shortcomings of the piano
is that the tuning pins were not long enough and the piano typically is
out of tune shortly after being tuned.  I resolved this by exchanging the
original pins for those 3/8" longer.  The piano then stayed in tune for,
oh, about two months.  Now, to be honest, even when it is in tune, some
can hardly tell the difference.

This was meant to be a high-level child's toy.  It never was designed to
be a serious musical instrument.  They are unique, and, when found with
the cart, and especially the donkey and grinder, makes for quite an
interesting display.  I have seen the pianos priced anywhere from
$300-2,000.  Whatever the market will bear.  They are usually sold as
19th century pieces, which they are not.

I recently was able to locate several new old stock barrels in their
original boxes.  They sold quickly, so I assume there is active interest
in the Faventia.

Angelo Rulli

(Message sent Wed 4 Jun 1997, 15:25:49 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Barrel, Faventia, Miniature, Piano

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