J.P. Seeburg Piano Co. (Chicago, Illinois)
1924 Seeburg Style H Orchestrion
Sold For $138,000Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
Considered by most collectors to be the most ornate orchestrion made in America, the Seeburg Style H features ten art glass panels, three hanging art glass lamps and two carved statues named "Strength" and "Beauty" holding up the massive overhanging arched top. Instrumentation includes piano with automatic expression, pipe solo capability and mandolin attachment; 34 violin and 34 flute pipes, xylophone, bass drum with tympani effect, snare drum, cymbal, triangle and castanets. This example was constructed by the D.C. Ramey Piano Company of Chicago, using an original Seeburg piano plus original and carefully-replicated parts, installed in a carefully-executed new cabinet made from the correct types of solid wood and veneer using blueprints of an original. It is in excellent playing condition. Fewer than four dozen original Seeburg H orchestrions are known to exist today. This orchestrion comes with a dozen 10-tune style H rolls.
In October 1912, Seeburg announced that another new orchestrion, the Style H, would "probably be ready within two weeks." Seemingly, development took longer than expected. The January 4, 1913, issue of The Music Trade Review included a notice stating, "Some new things may be expected from the Seeburg factory this year which, when announced, will prove of decided interest to the trade." These commentaries came true with the introduction of the new Style H Solo Orchestrion by late spring of 1913.The Style H proved to be a sensation. Today, these instruments are showpieces in the collections fortunate enough to have them. 73x88x32 inches.