November 29, 2004

Murtogh D. Guinness' Musical Automata

The Murtogh D. Guinness Collection is an example of an eccentric life-long obsession that is pursued so thoroughly that it becomes a valuable and significant history of the object(s) obsessed over. In Guiness’ case, it was antique mechanical musical instruments and automata. In 50 years of collecting, he amassed nearly 700 music boxes, fairground organs, clockwork driven dolls, and self-playing instruments – some of them dating back as far as the 16th century. Ever since his death in 2002, the collection has been housed at the local museum in Morristown, New Jersey, whose website includes video/music clips of such highlights as a flute-playing doll, an automatic banjo, a 108 pipe Orchestrophone, and an animated musical ring. (via Boing Boing, and the NY Times. Free reg required.)

Posted by Warren at November 29, 2004 10:56 PM | Instruments