A MILLS VIOLANO VIRTUOSO SOARS TO $34,100 AND A RARE CREMONA “K” NICKELODEON REALIZES $33,000 AT STANTON’S MUSIC MACHINE AUCTION

The auction was held Nov. 20-22, 2014 at the Eaton County Fairgrounds in Charlotte, Michigan

CHARLOTTE, Mich. – A Mills Violano Virtuoso soared to $34,100 and a Cremona Orchestral “K” nickelodeon went for $33,000 at a fall auction of antique music machines and related items held Nov. 20-22, 2014 by Stanton’s Auctioneers, at the Eaton County Fairgrounds in Charlotte. They were the top lots in an auction that saw nearly 1,400 items come up for bid and grossed over $730,000.

Mills Violano Virtuoso, an automatic player single violin with automatic piano ($34,100).

Mills Violano Virtuoso, an automatic player single violin with automatic piano ($34,100).

The Mills Violano Virtuoso (an automatic player single violin with automatic piano) was in need of mechanical restoration, but eager bidders were taken by the machine’s handsome mahogany cabinet (measuring 64 inches tall by 42 inches wide) and impressive look. The Cremona Orchestral “K” nickelodeon, with excellent panels of stained and leaded glass, was a very rare example, with metal pipes. The piano was a full 7 ½ octaves and three sets of pipes created eight instrumental effects.

Between 200 and 250 people attended the auction in person over the course of the three days, while many others submitted bids via phone and e-mail. Participation wasn’t limited just to the United States, as bids came in from Europe, Australia, Canada and elsewhere. Numerous estates were liquidated, with the higher-end machines generating the most interest and strongest prices.

“For nearly 35 years we have handled specialized auctions of this type,” said Steven E. Stanton of Stanton’s Auctioneers. “The interest in all of the various categories of music machines remains strong, with the buyers being ready to bid competitively for these wonderful examples that fortunately were not disposed of over the years. These were the entertainment centers of their day, but they were also gorgeous furniture pieces.”

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.

Regina, Edison and Victor are the top names in the industry, and this auction featured all three. A Regina 27-inch “dragon front” automatic changing disc music box (Style 8) in an oak cabinet, in excellent playing condition hit $17,600, a scarce Edison Class M Concert cylinder phonograph that plays 5-inch records and included an original Edison Model D reproducer fetched $16,500, and a Victor V phonograph with matching cabinet at oak Victor spear-tip horn fetched $6,275.

Other Edison phonographs included an extremely rare Edison Triumph Model G in the Opera-style cabinet, one of the last ones made ($9,350); an equally scarce Edison Diamond Disc A-400 in the fancy carved mahogany floor model cabinet with ribbed columns ($8,880); and an Edison Model A (2-4 minute) type SM floor model cylinder phonograph in a fine mahogany cabinet ($4,950).

Victor phonographs featured a Victor VI disc phonograph – a mahogany machine with original finish and gold plating ($4,675); a Victor 6-disc phonograph with Victor mahogany wooden spear-tip horn and decal ($4,640); a Victor VI disc phonograph in very good condition, with exhibition reproducer and crank ($4,130); and a rare Victor “A” disc phonograph, incomplete ($3,740).

The Regina name was chanted frequently throughout the sale. A very good (and scarce) Regina automatic changing disc music box, Style No. 38, playing 20 ¾ inch discs, with the coin-op mechanism missing and other issues, still brought $12,100; and a Regina Style No. 34 music box (not a coin-op), a 27-inch automatic changer with 12 discs and a mahogany case, made $11,275.

A Regina Hexaphone Model #104 floor model multi-cylinder coin-op phonograph (the early jukebox of cylinder records), featuring a carousel of six mandrels that play 4-minute records, went for $9,900; an oak Regina Style 216 coin-op bell box playing 15 ½ inch discs and with 6 bell box discs sold for $8,800; and a Regina Hexaphone Style 103 coin-op multi-cylinder phonograph (circa 1914-1921) garnered $7,700.

A Regina Style 6 (home model) 20 ¾ inch casket-model (or flip-top) oak disc music box with a double comb, with two discs and dated March 4, 1899, coasted to $6,600; A Regina Style 11 double comb music box playing 15 ½ inch discs (10 included) achieved $4,290; and a Style 150 Reginaphone music box in a serpentine-style case with a nice dark mahogany finish hit $4,180.

A rare Berliner gramophone – the early ratchet-wind model – with Clarke Johnson reproducer, black horn and Berliner decal, changed hands for $19,800. Also, a Stinson Calliola carousel organ, manufactured in Bellefontaine, Ohio in 1982 and purchased by the consignor in 1987 and containing the standard Calliola pipes, bells, drums, etc., plus additional pipes, brought $8,800.

A coin-operated Link Style “C” orchestrion with piano, xylophone and mandolin, housed in a mahogany cabinet and in need of mechanical restoration, coasted to $9,350; an Artizan Factories, Inc. band organ made in North Tonawanda, N.Y., in working condition, hammered for $6,050; and a Bimbo Baby musical coin-op arcade box with six monkeys playing instruments topped out at $4,950.

Three lots posted identical selling prices of $5,500. They were an 1890s Berger Floor Model 5 upright 5-cent slot machine in an excellent oak case and round top; an interchangeable cylinder music box made by Samuel Troll, Fils (Geneva), with 24 cylinders housed in the base cabinets; and an antique showcase style coin-operated cylinder music box (similar to a Station box) in an oak cabinet.

A rare Hawthorne & Sheble phonograph cabinet for use with a front-mount outside-horn disc phonograph, patented June 3, 1902, earned $4,950; a Criterion floor model music box originally housed at the St. Paul (Minn.) Hotel, walnut, with a base cabinet for storing discs, made $4,840; and a Western Electric Piano Company Model C “Mascot” nickelodeon, in need of veneer and cabinet restoration, hit $4,125.

Stanton’s Auctioneers’ next big music machine auction is slated for Apr. 30-May 2, 2015, also at the Eaton County Fairgrounds in Charlotte, Mich. The firm is actively seeking consignments, to include music boxes, band organs, coin-operated machines, phonographs, nickelodeons, records, roller and street organs and related items. It is currently arranging a travel and pick-up schedule.

Stanton’s Auctioneers’ main office is located at 144 South Main Street in Vermontville, Mich. The firm is always seeking quality consignments for future auctions, not just music machines and related items but all manner of collections and estate liquidations. To inquire, you may call Steven E. Stanton at (517) 726-0181, or you can e-mail him at [email protected]

To learn more about Stanton’s Auctioneers and the firm’s calendar of upcoming auction events, including the Apr. 30-May 2, 2015 spring music machine auction, log on to www.stantons-auctions.com

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