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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/18/2022
American Fotoplayer Style 35. Silent Movie Player Piano / Sound Effect Machine. Berkeley: American Photo Player Co., ca. 1920. Large player piano flanked by two matching cabinets containing drums, tambourines, horns, wood blocks, sleigh bells, and other sound effect-producing percussion devices. Includes original bench. Sold together with a hardwood cabinet filled with approximately 120 rolls, approximately one third of which are original vintage Picturolls. Width of player approximately 173”. In playable condition, but will require maintenance and tuning for all elements to operate correctly. An uncommon relic of the silent film era, said to be one of fifty or fewer examples extant. On-site examination is strongly recommended; third party shipping required. Developed to provide sound effects to silent films, Fotoplayers were essentially player pianos that required little to no musical skill to operate. While the musical soundtrack to the film was played on the piano via the traditional roll system (a two-roll setup allowed music to play continuously), various sound effects could be operated on cue by pushing buttons, pulling cords, and depressing levers incorporated into the player’s cabinet. Approximately 10,000 of these instruments were constructed in a 13-year span, but only a handful have survived in playable condition. Production of the players ceased after talkies changed the course of movie making forever.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $33,600.00
Estimate: $20,000.00 - $40,000.00
Number Bids:6
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