M.S. Rau is committed to offering fine art of the highest caliber and we seek paintings and sculpture by historically renowned artists, often with impressive provenance. The large majority of our works of art come from private. . .
The Mills Double DeLuxe Violano Virtuoso
- This DeLuxe Violano Virtuoso is a rare automatic musical instrument by the Mills Novelty Co.
- The Violano has two independently playable violins and a 44 note piano
- This particular DeLuxe has an added digital player system allowing for digital downloads of music
- Only a handful of this nostalgic musical masterpieces are known to exist in such wonderful condition
- Get complete item description here
To speak to one of our experts, call 1-888-711-8084
It is truly rare to find a historical musical mechanism so complete, with such remarkable sound quality and in excellent condition. This particular Violano has been updated with a digital player system that allows song selections to be made over a WiFi connection. This gives the user a choice between digital downloads or traditional paper rolls for added convenience.
Perfected and patented in 1912 by Henry K. Sandell, the Violano-Virtuoso was produced in limited quantities until 1929 and could be found in the very finest restaurants, hotels and oceanliners. In fact, the Violano-Virtuoso was one of the few American-made mechanical musical devices to be distributed worldwide to the most exclusive international clientele.
The below testimonial was sent to the Mills Company by the Governor of Idaho, aptly describing the incredible music produced by the Violano-Virtuoso.
Dear Sir, Have just had the pleasure of listening to your wonderful Automatic Violin and Piano on exhibition at the Government Building here. This marvelous instrument certainly far surpasses anything that I have eve heard in automatic music. The tone and expression of the violin and the piano are so perfect and clear that is really hard to believe but that there is the human hand playing..."
Indeed, for the price of a nickel, the Mills Violano-Virtuoso delivered a wide variety of musical entertainment ranging from classical operatic arrangements to the popular tunes of the day. Using rolls of perforated paper in much the same way as a player piano, it could play music on either the violins, the piano or both, offering an unparalleled combination of sound. The violins vary from the usual in that they have no fingerboard. Instead, a small metal “finger” rises from under the string lifting it in a “V” shaped slot thus stopping off the string. The strings are bowed by four small wheels made of discs of celluloid clamped together, applying just the right amount of pressure to the strings. These are driven by a delicate variable speed controlled motor to vary the volume of sound produced. The vibrato is produced by shaking the tailpiece of the violin with a series of pneumatic pistons operated by a vacuum pump. The frame of the piano is shield shaped, supporting the bass strings in the center and the treble strings on either side, which evens the stress on the frame and assists in maintaining the piano's tuning.
Up to 15 coins could be accommodated and, depending on the number of songs on each of the music rolls, the Violano-Virtuoso could play for up to an hour. De Luxe Violano-Virtuoso machines of this caliber and condition, retaining such a superb tonal quality, are extremely rare today.
A similar Mills Novelty Company DeLuxe Violano Virtuoso is featured in Q. David Bowers' Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments on page 520.
49 3/8" wide x 34 3/4" deep x 68 1/2" high
|Maker:||Mills Novelty Company|