No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis
THE ASHORNE HALL NICKELODEON
Graham Whitehead was born in 1940. His first job after leaving school was as a trainee cinema projectionist, and a lifelong fascination with the cinema would be the springing point of his other interests. A sideline in printing, however, led to his business success, from which he retired in 1998. Musical boxes followed from a visit to Switzerland in 1966, and from 1986 until his retirement he edited and produced the Musical Box Society of Great Britain's journal, The Music Box, thus bringing fellow collectors the benefit of his printing expertise.
By 1982 he had opened the Napton Nickleodeon in a converted chapel, housing the Compton organ (complete with console on a lift), as well as the Photoplayer, a number of other mechanical instruments and period projectors. In 1989, he bought New Lodge, Ashorne Hill; the house had been empty for several years and was in a dilapidated state. Previous owners had been members of the Lucas and Bryant (of Bryant and May) families. Graham proceeded to rehabilitate the house and garden, adding a purpose-built cinema; the re-named Ashorne Hall opened in May 1991.
At the time of his death in May 2003, Graham had already made a decision to sell most of his collection and concentrate on the cinema organ concerts at Ashorne Hall. Now the sale will include the two cinema organs: the Compton from the Regal, Hammersmith, and the Wurlitzer from the Plaza at Piccadilly Circus, which was acquired later.
The collection is rare in the UK for the number of early 20th-century organs and orchestrions, few of which found favour in this country when new, although they were popular in the USA and on the European mainland. Indeed, this is the first collection of such instruments to appear in a London auction room since 1981.
The collection will remain at Ashorne for viewing before the sale, but the auction will take place at Christie's South Kensington and all but the largest pieces will be moved to store in London on the day before.
DIRECTIONS TO ASHORNE HALL:
By car: turn off the M40 at junction 13 then take the B4087 in the direction of Wellesbourne. The village of Ashorne is off this road on the left (approximately one and a half miles from the motorway junction), then follow the signs for the Ashorne Hall Nickelodeon.
By train: the nearest station is Leamington Spa (direct trains from London, Marylebone). Ashorne Hall is ten minutes away by taxi.