Hupfeld Helios Ic/31 Orchestrion
OFFERED WITHOUT RESERVE
Ludwig Hupfeld AG (Böhlitz-Ehrenberg, Germany)
Of all the large orchestrions ever made, the Hupfeld Helios models were the most popular worldwide. They were arranged into five basic "classes," from I through V, indicated by the Roman numeral at the beginning of the style number. The letter following the class number indicates the instrumentation, and the number after the slash describes the cabinet style. Thus, the Ic/31 is a class I Helios with type 'c' instrumentation in a style 31 case. Several dozen class I, fewer than a dozen class II, two class III and no class IV or V are known to exist.
Judging by the remaining examples, the Ic/31 was Hupfeld's most popular model. It contains piano with expression, reiterating mandolin mechanism; 102 pipes representing violin, viola, cello, bass, flute and clarinet; orchestra bells, xylophone and drums; solo capability for the pipes and xylophone. This example contains the sophisticated concert expression mechanism, capable of quick accents, fast and slow crescendo and decrescendo for all instruments by a sophisticated pneumatic expression mechanism and shutters in the top of the case. It has two single-roll mechanisms enabling you to play a roll and then play another while the first is rewinding. Over 100 re-cut and original rolls are included.
The present instrument was found in Cologne, Germany by dealer Leonard Grymonprez in Gentbrugge, Belgium, who sold it to the Jerry Cohen Collection in California in the 1960s. It was one of the first large German orchestrions in good playing condition that was heard by a large number of American collectors, motivating many to understand and appreciate their musical significance and create an intense desire to own one. The Cohen family was the venue for some meetings of the Musical Box Society International and the Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors Association. It was a very popular meeting spot, and Jerry was a genial host. The Ic/31 was acquired by Jasper Sanfilippo in 1991 and by the Milhous Collection in 1996. It received a thorough restoration by Mike Argain of Fresno, California just prior to this auction. If you want one great orchestrion, there are many possibilities in the Milhous Collection auction. This Hupfeld Helios Ic/31 offers a lot to like and enjoy! 84x118x43 inches.