Late 18th-Century Moore Company Victorian Pump Organ
Appraised Value: $300 - $500
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:33)
GUEST: This organ came to me from my mother. Back in 1974, we lived in San Jose, California, and she visited this pump organ in an antique store for a year. And she, being a stay-at-home mom of four kids, didn't have a whole lot of extra money at the time, and after a year, she decided that the next time she went in, if it was still there, she was buying it one way or another. So when she went in, sure enough it was there, and she convinced the owner to put it on layaway, and she spent almost a year paying it off, but she finally got it. So then it came home.
APPRAISER: Did it go into your parlor?
GUEST: It went into our living room. Yeah, and that's about all we had at the time.
APPRAISER: And then it came to you at some point.
GUEST: It came to me this last year. My parents retired into their motor home, and there's not a whole lot of room in a motor home for a pump organ. So it came from South Carolina, which is where they were living at the time, and now resides in Oklahoma City.
APPRAISER: It's made by the Moore Company-- pump organ company in Chicago. And these were a very important piece of furniture in the American parlor when it was made-- that is the 1880s or '90s. This example, made in oak, very fine graining of quartersawn oak in the bottom and then with this very elaborate decoration. It's a period in American decorative arts, in the Victorian period, when it was felt that more is not enough, and so they filled with decoration in sort of the Eastlake style. Often made in walnut as well as mahogany out of this period. As you notice in the top, it has beveled glass, many turnings, spool turnings, in the Aesthetic Movement style. These were symbols of ritual and ceremony in the American home. The Victorian period was a very serious period when hymn singing and Bible reading was important. Well, today they're not highly desired because they're obsolete in some respects. And while they are over a hundred years old, they don't bring the greatest of prices. In fact, on the market today, these rarely pass the thousand-dollar mark. In fact, they sell more in the $300-to-$500 range.
APPRAISER: And yet they're important, I think, as documents of... of a period that's lost and gone.
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