Recently obtained historical information shows this instrument was likely used as a "demonstrator" in the Gavioli office / factory in Paris, France, at the turn of the 20th century. As business slowed, Gavioli focused on their worldwide sales of fine band and fairground organs and less on their new adventure into the Concert Orchestrion market. "Gavioli & Cie" became "Gavioli S.A." in 1904, confirming that the Gavioli we now own was produced before that time. Recent information confirms that this instrument was designed after the Welte orchestrions and is declared as "the most important mechanical instrument during the 20th century" in an upcoming, authoritative book on "orchestrions".
This orchestrion is a magnificent 12-1/2 foot high instrument, which includes a wonderful carved gallery. At the center top of it's 10 foot high main case, in brass inlay, is "Gavioli & Cie" and underneath is "Paris." Its history after the turn of the century and its "disappearance" from the Gavioli factory were recently clarified. The instrument was shipped to a collector in Italy and returned to France just before WWII, where it remained until 1999. At that time, most items in this French collection were offered to buyers all over the world.
The Gavioli Orchestrion is totally original and complete. Overall, it measures approximately 12-1/2 feet high, over 6 feet wide and about 5 feet deep. It weighs about 1,500 pounds (uncrated and assembled). There are 21 original classical music 90-key books for the instrument. In addition, more classical books will be produced in Europe in the Spring of 2007 by Arthur Prinsen, world-renowned music arranger and producer. IN ADDITION, the Gavioli has a non-obtrusive 100-key MIDI Welte player installed along with several hundred original "Concert Welte" midi melodies for SPECTACULAR, ORIGINAL PERFORMANCES.
The organ has received a "100 points + historical restoration" in the wonderful shops of a well-known fourth qeneration international restorer; one of the finest restorers in the world, with over 80 years of family operation and experience.
This one-of-a-kind, confirmed "historically significant" orchestrion deserves only the finest collection or museum. Its absence from Europe will be sorely missed. It's return to its "birthplace" in Paris, France, is doubtful.
Acknowledgments: I wish to express my sincere appreciation to those who furnished historical knowledge on this important Gavioli instrument, particularly Arthur Ord-Hume of Europe.
If you want to see more pictures of this rare instrument click on Show the Pictures.
Inventory Item #186 on the "Availability and Price List" -