Murdoch, McKillop and Co. Organ

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ddmf1983
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Murdoch, McKillop and Co. Organ

Post by ddmf1983 » 30 Jun 2014, 20:58

Hello everyone,

Just posting on behalf of my girlfriend who has had an organ stored in her garage for a considerable number of years. When cleaning the garage out at the weekend we took the organ out of there in order to take a few pics. Untimately she is wondering if it is worth anything. The photos attached (fingers crossed I attached them properly) shows the organ as is minus a quick once over with a cloth to take the heaviest dust off. It does work by the way using a foot pump/pedal. We dont know a thing about organs or pianos so thought somewhere such as this would be the best port of call. Thanks in advance for an info you can give. Must say I think its rather handsome. If it could be restored to its former glory it would be an attrative feature in any house.
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image-e69c6b7221ee2154a9d5a7c76c02ba91ef975009e688a5107d16f0c4ef222ffe-V.jpg
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Model V
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Re: Murdoch, McKillop and Co. Organ

Post by Model V » 04 Jul 2014, 20:59

Technically this is a harmonium as it generates wind that sounds through reeds rather than pipes. My family were given one in the 70s but we got fed up with it pretty soon.

I doubt it's worth much/anything but I'm willing to be corrected on that.

MV

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Murdoch, McKillop and Co. Organ

Post by Colin Nicholson » 05 Jul 2014, 18:25

Model V is absolutely right.... its a harmonium.... rather like a large mouth organ ('organ' used loosely as a generic term) or piano accordion with reeds. In olden days, some reeds were made of wood - maple - and more recently, made of brass. I would estimate this to be around the mid 1800s - no later than 1880; ideally placed in a church or chapel to suit the background architecture of the building - hence the carvings. Some had a display of mirrors - ideally positioned for the harmonium player (not organist!.... though they were sometimes used) .. so they could see procession arrivals & departures for timing of the music. John Murdoch & McKillop also retailed these instruments in London and Glasgow - but no dates/ info are given.
Generally used for short compass works such as hymns, carols, motets, chorales and various processions such as weddings & funerals.

For selling purposes, you may get up to about £200 (to the right buyer) - but it depends where you choose to advertise.... a 'home' is no good!! .... far too outdated, unless you get lucky.... but don't overlook specialist piano auctions, or even antique dealers - but through the trade, be lucky to get about £50.... due to the damage....

Condition is key here.... and after a quick glance at your photos, there are some parts missing & damage >>
1. Stop valve missing (or sometimes the ivory plate is missing - same thing)
2. 2 ebony key tops missing (sharps)
3. Keys sticking down (suspected damp?)
4. Veneer missing (suspected damp?)
5. General poor condition/ scratches/ bruises/ dents

If been kept in a garage.... then any prospect buyer may just walk away! Damp issues are big to a buyer.
Ideally a nice 'talking point' instrument - some beeswax would bring it up.... but certainly not an investment if you sell it.... and in its present condition.... there is no market for these instruments sadly. In good condition, they can fetch about £800 or more....

hope that helps..

Colin
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ddmf1983
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Re: Murdoch, McKillop and Co. Organ

Post by ddmf1983 » 28 Aug 2014, 18:27

Thanks very much for your replies. Very much appreciated and was a very interesting read. Alas its not the goldmine we were hoping it would be, always the hope when you find something antique, but it was great to get such a detailed description of what it is. Thanks again, much obliged.

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