Rare organ could fetch �100k

A rare fairground organ dating back to the 1800s is to go under the hammer, an auctioneer said today.

The 19th century full-size organ is expected to fetch upwards of �30,000 at auction later this month.

Terry Woodcock, owner of Unique Auctions in Lincoln, said that, in 15 years, he had never seen an organ like it before.

“It’s a proper old fairground organ with the dancing wooden figures and xylophone, bass drums and castanets,” he said.

“It’s all fitted into a 1974 Leyland lorry.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen one for sale probably in the last 15 years.

“They never come on the market because all the fairground people keep them.”

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He said the organ was being sold by an elderly man who planned to use the funds from the sale to buy himself and his wife a barge.

“He has been in the fairground world since he was about 14 and travelled all over the world working on the fairgrounds,” said Mr Woodcock.

“He had always wanted to own one so bought this one. He’s had it about 20 years.

“His exact words yesterday were ‘with a very heavy heart’ he needs to sell it now.”

Mr Woodcock said the German-made organ dated back to around 1880, and is known as an “old 65 key scale”.

Although listed at between �30,000 and �40,000, it could sell for up to �100,000.

“Because it’s so rare it could make anything from �30,000-�40,000,” he added.

“But it could, we believe, the way the Japanese and Americans are at the moment buying mechanical music, make �100,000. We’ve just got no idea.”

The auction will be held at Unique Auctions’ sale room in Lincoln on October 23.