Automatic String Instruments

Violano Orchestrion

    Violano Orchestrion

    Wood (maple, mahogany, spruce, birch), metal, glass, brass; casting, engraving, presswork, decalcomania

    110 х 79 х 163 cm, 390 kg

    Inscriptions: “VIOLIN PIANO/VIOLANO-VIRTUOSO INVENTED By H.K. SANDELL/MNF’D: By Mills Novelty Co”. USA and other countries patents’ dates: “FRANCE, GREAT BRITAIN, GERMANY, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, BELGIUM, SPAIN, SWITZERLAND”; on metal plate inside the cae: “VIOLANO-VIRTUOSO/DESIGNATED BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT AS ONE OF THE EIGHT GREATEST INVENTIONS OF THE DECADE/MILLS NOVELTY CO., CHICAGO”; on wooden panel inside the case: “VIOLANO VIRTUOSO/SELF PLAYING/VIOLIN AND PIANO»; «VIOLANO-VIRTUOSO/MANUFACTURED BY MILLS NOVELTY CO. /MILLS BLDG.-CHICAO, U.S.A.”; on metal plate near coin selector: “You can play 1 to 15 Nickels. Place 5¢ in Slide and push in”. “Violano–Virtuoso Designated by the U. S. Government as one of the eight greatest inventions of the decade Mills Novelty Co., Chicago”. Inscriptions in golden letters on the sides: “Pat June 4 1912”; on metal plate inside the case in front of the violin: “Mills Novelty Chicago Ill USA”



    Wooden case, made in the form of a cabinet, mahogany veneered, with blank and glass doors, with top lid, with locks. 110 V electric motor and paper music roll are hidden behind the doors. The violin and the mechanism are mounted in the façade upper part behind the sliding doors, consisting of four shutters with faceted glass. Four strings violin. Metal frame with four plastic buttons tuned in the interval of perfect fifths: g, d, a, e is in front of it.

    Metal box "electric motor" for automatic piano playing is above the violin. Metal strings are tightened on the soundboard inside the case. They sound when struck by hammers.

    The mechanism is coin activated.