â€œCrownâ€ Model, Pump (Reed) Organ, MFG by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, ILL. USA, circa late 1800s or very early 1900s; most likely used as a parlor or chapel organ. As a piece of vintage furniture, this beautiful wooden (oak or walnut) cabinet is in excellent condition and is accented by very detailed scroll work and carvings. As a rare 100-plus-year-old antique musical instrument, it is in need of some TLC by a qualified restoration specialist.
Brief History of the Pump (Reed) Organ:
The pump organ was popular in the late 19th century and was once an important domestic instrument, offering a less expensive alternative to the ever-popular family piano in parlors, while at the same time providing a suitable instrument for accompanying family hymns on a Sunday in chapels. Sales for pump organs were very strong in the south after the Civil War since money was scarce; the pump organ had the great ability to bring back a sense of joy to a people that were ravaged by the war. However, by the early 1900s, advances in piano manufacturing technology made pianos more affordable, causing pump organs to fall out of favor. Other reasons for the replacement of these instruments were their wavering status somewhere between a sacred pipe organ surrogate and a secular home instrument, as well as the lack of original compositions for pump organs. Now, over 100 years later, it is almost impossible to match the quality of the hard woods that were used to make pump organs in their era, since most of the old forests in this country are long gone. A musical instrument with a dying art form, coupled with the increasingly rare quality of materials and craftsmanship, make this artifact a treasured piece of history worth preserving.