Ladies desk organ, Östlind & Almquist (KH 571)

Ladies Desk organ (Harmonium), Östlind & Almquist, Arvika, nr 1455, 1895, KH 571

Ladies desk organ Östlind & Almquist, nr 1455, 1895

Klaverens Hus has acquired a ladies desk organ from Östlind & Almquist in Arvika with serial number 1455 from 1895 (KH 571). According to information, there have been two examples of this model. As we don’t know where the other copy is or if it still exists at all, we consider this organ unique. It has remained in Arvika, as it was sold at auction there in 1991 to a family, who then owned it until Klaverens Hus was offered the instrument.

It is a little jewel of a harmonium in Neo-Renaissance style, veneered in walnut with root veneer in fillings and on the top, while the legs are of stained alder. The organ itself is located under the desk top, and the keyboard is pulled out in playing mode. The music stand is missing, which is why it can be assumed that the function of decoration was the dominant one. The metal wire knee levers are shaped like spirals, a detail also found on other models according to the factory’s catalog from 1894.

The mirror glass on the top piece is of the same clear quality as on the double, faceted mirrors on the magnificent organ from Östlind & Almquist, which is said to have belonged to the manufacturer’s daughter (KH 390). This raises the question of whether this organ was also made for private use and was at the home of the Östlind family in the large manager’s villa, which still stands diagonally opposite the old factory complex at the Eastern Esplanade. The organ has no visible signature, and at home you would have known where it was made …

Eva Helenius 2011-03-26