WURLITZER MUSIC MACHINE ART
Wurlitzer is the foremost collectible of all the vintage music machines. Founder, Rudolph Wurlitzer was born into a prominent family in Saxony, where generations of Wurlitzers had been making and selling musical instruments since the 17th century. Upon emigrating to the United States, Rudolph founded, in 1856, a new arm of the family business in Cincinnati Ohio. Initially importing instruments from his relations in Germany, he branched into manufacturing and, in 1880, introduced the first U.S. built Wurlitzer piano. A relentless innovator, he manufactured the first coin-operated electric piano in 1896, known as the Tonophon. Next came cinema and theatre organs, dubbed Mighty Wurlitzers, which created an instant sensation among the public. In 1933, heir, Farny Wurlitzer, bought a patented juke box mechanism, moved the operation to New York, and developed and sold the first Wurlitzer jukebox, the "Debutante." In the late 1930s, Wurlitzer styling was raised to new heights by a brilliant young designer named Paul Fuller, whose 'liquid fire' bubble tubes and use of translucent catalin plastic elevated the jukebox into the highly collectible music machines so sought after today. In the Fun House collection is Fuller's first Wurlitzer-designed jukebox through to his last, some 18 Paul Fuller designs, all immaculately restored to original condition. The period over which he dreamed up these exotic, technically sophisticated and whimsical creations is referred to by Wurlitzer as their golden age. The following 35 lots comprise a Fun House retrospective of the most pristine and collectible music machine art pieces presented in memory.