The Milhous Collection

24 - 25 February 2012

Lot 784

1903 Ruth Style 38-B Fair Organ

To be auctioned on Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sold for $1,265,000

History is important to us, and all lots offered are fully researched. All corresponding information and accessories, from certificates to tool kits, stays with the lots we sell. All of this is held at our library on site, under the Access the Knowledge banner, so please visit us there or contact us before the auction if you require further information.

A. Ruth & Söhne (Waldkirch, Germany)

An extraordinary instrument in every respect, this Ruth & Sons fair organ is one of the many highlights of the Milhous Collection and represents one of the largest organs built by the company. Ruth, considered by many collectors to be the finest builder of large German fairground organs (the size of which eclipsed those of Gebr. Bruder, the highly acclaimed maker in the same town), produced this instrument. Its incredible carvings of animated flute and guitar players, bell ringers, a bandleader, swans, satyrs, cherubs and angels playing herald trumpets make this an attraction even when the music is not playing.

The fully three-dimensional façade was carved by Josef Dopp in Waldkirch in the "Rheinisch Baroque" style. In fact, an early picture exists showing this organ's façade just after completion, and it is believed that Dopp himself is in the picture (see reference below).

Only two examples of Ruth Style 38-B organs are known to exist, the other of which is also in a private collection. One of the most musically pleasing fairground organs, instrumentation in this piece includes hundreds of organ pipes, duplex orchestra bells, two snare drums, bass drum and cymbal, playing from style 38B Ruth and Voigt cardboard books as well as from a digital MIDI player. It includes a dozen large books and a large library of MIDI files.

The instrument's restoration was conducted by organ specialist Johnny Verbeeck in Belgium in 1996, with a two-year restoration of the façade by Will Morton VIII in Lakewood, Colorado. Formerly in the H. Schmidt and Sanfilippo Collections, this instrument's offering is unquestionably one of the most important opportunities in the present sale.

Reference: Waldkircher Orgelbauer by Rambach & Wernet (p. 119). 204x108x66 inches.

Alain Squindo

Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

+49 (0) 40 441 95 737

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

+1 310 559 4575
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more