Once a fixture in bustling dance halls, cafés and fairgrounds throughout Belgium and the Netherlands in early to mid 20th century, this incredibly rare, early Orchestrion organ is a masterpiece of automated music. Crafted by the Arburo firm run by Arthur Bursens and Gustav Roels, this mechanical marvel is essentially an entire band set within an elegantly constructed Art Deco cabinet. No two Orchestrions were ever created alike and each was made-to-order, one at a time. Every Orchestrion was crafted entirely by hand, even down to the paper music rolls, and utilized actual stand-alone musical instruments integrated into the mechanism.
The organ operates on electricity and uses a perforated paper music roll which it "reads" to control each and every instrument inside. The sound quality of this Orchestrion is breathtaking, with instruments including a visible accordion, 168-pipe organ, triangle, and drums all controlled by one of 20 rolls included with this piece. A powerful motor provides high air pressure to operate the pipes and the vacuum, which reads the roll and controls the percussion. This allows the organ to generate the volume necessary to overcome the noise of revelers in a crowded dance hall. Today, very few examples of these musical marvels exist, especially in the exceptional working condition of this Orchestrion. Such splendid musical antiques generate tremendous attention on the market, making this organ a prized acquisition for musical enthusiasts world-wide.
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