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Östlind & Almquist ladies desk organ made in 1895, serial no 1455

Oe-A-1455-1895-damskrivbordsorgel-04.jpgThe Klaverens Hus has recently acquired an art case reed organ made in 1895 by Östlind & Almquist in Arvika with the serial number 1455 (KH 571). According to reports there have been made two copies of this model. As long as we do not know where the other instrument is or whether it still exists, we look upon this reed organ as unique. It has stayed in Arvika and was sold by auction there in 1991 to a family that kept it until it was offered to the Klaverens Hus.

The little reed organ is a piece of jewellery in Renaissance Revival style made of walnut with a burl veneer top, whilst the legs are made of stained alder. The organ itself is placed under the desk top and the keyboard is drawn out when played. A music stand is missing why it may be supposed that the function of embellishment is dominant to the musical one. The knee swells of metal wire are turned spirally, a detail that, according to the factory catalogue of 1894, is also found on other models. The mirror glass has the same clear quality as the double mirrors on the art case organ by Östlind & Almquist that is said to have belonged to “the daughter of the manufacturer” (KH 390). It raises the question whether also this organ was originally made for private use at the Östlind family home in the big factory manager house that is still situated nearly opposite to the old factory block at the Östra Espanaden [Eastern Esplanade]. The reed organ has no visible signature. At home they knew where it was made.

EH 2011-03-26




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