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The Phantom Player

Lot 30 THE PHANTOM PLAYER!

The Phantom piano player might sound like a mysterious tinkling on the ivories at midnight, although, in fact, it was one of those wonderful British inventions of the 1930s.

We may all be familiar with pianolas, known as Player Pianos, however 'Piano-Players' also existed. These were separate devices from the piano itself. With 65 mechanical 'fingers' they were pushed up to an ordinary piano then, with somebody pedalling, a perforated roll turned round thus playing the piano via the 65 'fingers'.

By the mid-1930s an Englsh company had so refined the idea that it just consisted of a simple cigar-shaped device sitting on the keys. This was connected to a small electrically driven pump by a tube. It was called The Phantom.

To find such a machine is rare and it is surely rarer still for it to be in working order accompanied by its own collection of branded rolls.

Estimated £800 - 1,200

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