A Large & Unusual c.1900 Walnut Pump Pedal Organ, Converted to a Bookcase by The Estey Organ Co.


Origin: American
Period: Late Nineteenth / Early Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1890-1900
Width: 43 inches
Depth: 20 inches
Height: 47 inches

Of generous proportions, the figured solid walnut pedal pump organ by the Estey Organ Company of Brattleboro, Vermont USA, standing on the original castors with decorative galleried back and greek key detailing, the centre now housing two shelves acting as a bookcase, the flip up top opening to reveal the organ keys with gilt painted makers name and 36 white keys, and 25 black keys.

The colour of the walnut is superb and the condition largely excellent with the lower shelf covered in green velvet. The internals of the organ have obviously all been removed but the pumps remain for decorative effect.

Bookcases were first introduced in the 15th century and with few changes along the way to their design, the history of bookcases is indeed a simple and short affair. What cannot be argued with however is that books are as still supremely valued today as they were in the time of the Tudors but whether an organ has ever held books so competently is somewhat open to debate.

For over 100 years, the Estey Organ Company manufactured organs large and small in Brattleboro, VT. Jacob Estey founded the Estey Organ Company in 1846 in Brattleboro, Vermont. Estey could sense a change in the American people, and was anticipating a shift towards a more music-centric society. When the company was first started, they specialized only in reed organs until 1901, when they hired a new organ builder and opened up a pipe organ branch. These included some 520,000 reed organs, 3200 pipe organs, and, at the end, a foray into the area of electronic organs.

The humble bookcase turned on its head.