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Wanted: Information on Parisian Harmonium Maker V. Mauprety

MIRN member, Paulo Santiago, writes to ask whether anyone can supply any further information about the maker and model of his harmonium inscribed: V. Mauprety – pianos and orgues – Paris.  So far, we know that Vincent-Joseph Mauprety traded from several different addresses in Paris between c.1870 and 1888, and a contemporary listing from the Annuaire-almanach du commerce, de l’industrie… of 1871 can be viewed at http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k9764746t/f1145.image . The other information that has been gained about him comes from this online site http://www.lieveverbeeck.eu/Pianos_francais_m.htm . Mauprety is not mentioned in Gellerman’s International Reed Organ Atlas (2nd edition)(Lanham, MD, USA, 1998) nor in Arthur WJG Ord-Hume’s book Harmonium: the History of the Reed Organ and its Makers (London, 1986).

Medallion showing inscription on Harmonium by Mauprety, Paris.
Overall view of harmonium by V Mauprety, Paris
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UK Government Consultation on Banning Sales of Ivory

The UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs is beginning a consultation on banning sales of ivory. MIRN wishes to state its unconditional support for all reasonable measures that protect endangered species. Nevertheless, such a ban, if applied heavy-handedly, could have unintended consequences impacting on the trade, repair and restoration of historic musical instruments in this country. The Government has indicated that there could be certain exemptions introduced for musical instruments. You can read more about the Government’s proposals here  (scroll to the PDF documents right at the bottom of the page) and can also contribute your views through their survey or by writing to them at IvoryConsultation@defra.gsi.gov.uk. Please make your views known. At MIRN’s AGM (12th October) it was agreed that, following consultation with members, the Chair should submit a response to the consultation. Any member who wishes to contribute to MIRN’s response should write to the Chair via MIRN’s enquiries email by 1st December 2017. enquiries@mirn.org.uk

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Information wanted on Celesta maker

MIRN member, George Diehl, has asked for information on Cromwell, possibly a French celeste maker of the second half of the 19th century. He has an instrument with the name ‘Cromwell’ on the front board and the name and number ‘CAPRA 192’ stamped on the keyframe under the keys. Please post your replies to ‘enquiries@mirn.org.uk’ .

Comments from Lewis Jones, 27 November 2018
I have not been able to trace a celesta maker called Cromwell in France, and the name does not sound especially French. References to celestas by Cromwell on the web would seem to point to North America. One by Cromwell was sold on eBay for US $2,999.99:
Unfortunately the photographs appear not to be archived.
looks twentieth rather than nineteenth-century, as also does that at Mulholland Music, Chatsworth, California, a studio ‘built in the ’60’s as a quiet, private music space to foster creativity’: http://www.mulhollandmusic.com/styled-3/
   An example at Bienen School of Music, Evanston, Illinois, is apparently regarded there as a second instrument, for rehearsal only: https://www.music.northwestern.edu/sites/default/files/Venue%20Training%20PICK-STAIGER%20(Ver2.09-2018).pdf
   It is noteworthy that these instruments are (or were) in North America. Might there perhaps be a connection with the twentieth-century New York music publisher (prominent in the 1940s and 50s) Cromwell Music Inc. (now C/O TRO ESSEX MUSIC GROUP, 266 West 37th St., 17th Floor, New York, NY 10018)? See, for example,several entries in Catalog of Copyright Entries: Third series (1968) [pdf via Google Books]
   Regarding the ‘CAPRA 192’ stamp: if one Capra was the maker of the keyboard, this might be the 192nd such example made. The irregularity with which the letters and numbers were stamped suggests the sequential use of separate cast stamps rather than a single, integrated tool. Thus it seems unlikely that ‘192’ indicates a date in the 1920s whose final figure was to be entered separately, in the manner of a printed violin label in which the final digit is added by hand.
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Classification systems for musical instruments.

Broderip and Wilkinson (cropped)

Margaret Birley, Keeper of Musical Instruments at the Horniman Museum writes:

There are many different classification systems for musical instruments. The classification system that is cited for musical instruments on the MIRN website is the Hornbostel Sachs system as revised by Jeremy Montagu and MIMO which is widely used by museums. However, the existence of other classification systems should be indicated. … I would suggest … Margaret Kartomi’s On Concepts and Classifications of Musical Instruments (Chicago, 1990), which provides a wide-ranging overview of musical instrument classifications.

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How to join the Forum

Welcome to MIRN Forum. This page hosts questions and discussions for members. To join for FREE, go the link on this page. After you have become a member, post your question or topic for discussion to enquiries@mirn.org.uk . Make ‘FORUM’ the first word in the subject line. Your post should appear within a couple of days. If you have information or a comment that you wish to add or if you can answer a question, use the same link, after joining.

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