EXTRAORDINARY MILHOUS COLLECTION PREPARES FOR FINAL ENCORE • RM Auctions, in association with Sotheby’s, lifts gavel on the Milhous Collection, February 24 – 25, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida
• Sale presents an unprecedented selection of mechanical musical ins
Motorcycle and a 1972 Harley-Davidson FLH1200 Super Glide Motorcycle (Est. $20,000 - $30,000 each), along with a pair of antique tractors including a 1946 John Deere Model LA Tractor (Est. $5,000 - $10,000).
For automotive enthusiasts, the auction will be held during the same weekend as the famed Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance, making for an ultimate vintage car weekend.
Mechanical Musical Instruments
Beyond the automobiles, the Milhous Collection’s focus lies in an astonishing assortment of mechanical musical instruments, the technical sophistication of which rivals the engineering found in the finest motor cars of the era. Highlighting the offering is over 100 of the world’s most desirable and exceptional theater, fair and dance organs, considered among the rarest, largest and most mechanically complex and decoratively elaborate examples in existence. One of the many jewels of the prized collection is the original Wurlitzer Family Residential / Theatre Pipe Organ, a 30-rank theater organ formerly in the Wurlitzer home in Cincinnati, Ohio (Est. $450,000 - $650,000). Other highlights include: an Art Deco styled Mortier Dance Organ (Est. $175,000 - $275,000); an ornate Ruth Style 38-B Fair Organ, one of the largest examples manufactured by the respected firm A. Ruth & Söhne (Est. $1,000,000 - $1,200,000); and, a beautifully presented Gaudin 125-Key Dance Organ, finished with gold leaf and delicate oil paintings (Est. $1,000,000 - $1,200,000). All are presented in restored condition.
The sale also features the largest compilation of major orchestrion pieces ever to be offered at auction and a world-class selection of historic music boxes, faithfully restored and maintained by specialists. Among a long list of highlights is a magnificent Welte Wotan Brass Band Orchestrion, the largest model of the Welte line, originally from the immense Bob-Lo Island Dance Hall in Detroit, Michigan (Est. $1,500,000 - $2,500,000); plus an extraordinary Hupfeld Super Pan Orchestrion, considered to be one of the most significant Hupfeld products ever built (Est. $800,000 - $1,200,000). Other notable entries include a Hupfeld Style B Phonoliszt Violina with Dea Violin System (Est. $350,000 - $450,000) and a large six cylinder Paillard Music Box (Est. $20,000 - $40,000).
Additional Collection Highlights:
Although selecting individual highlights is a challenging task, given the incredible quality of each piece, the ‘crown jewel’ of the collection is arguably the large, hand-built, 46-foot custom carousel. The centerpiece of the Milhous museum and specially commissioned and constructed by the Milhous brothers over several years, this exceptional piece features an extraordinary menagerie of 42 animals, all hand-carved in basswood. Accompanied by its very own Wurlitzer 153 Band Organ, it truly represents an opportunity not to be missed by established and burgeoning private collections. (Est. $1,000,000 - $1,500,000).
“It is a one-of-a-kind, fully-functioning work of art—an incredible example of custom craftsmanship, mechanical music and entertainment,” describes Myers.
The Milhous Collection is rounded out by an eclectic assortment of other collectibles, ranging from ornate hall and tower clocks to such decorative art pieces as Tiffany lamps and various artworks, as well as a diverse series of petroliana, neon and