M&H literally spared no expense building this super-expensive style of Liszt Organ; the construction is painstaking in every part, mechanical and furnitural. It was a precious and rare instrument, the star of whatever musical salon it adorned. Adjusted for inflation, it cost the equivalent of $56,000! Until I am shown otherwise, I posit that this was the most expensive American-made foot-pumped organ.
This brings me to a larger point: how did this very special and incredibly expensive musical instrument come to spend the last two decades in a storage shed? It had been maintained in fully-playable condition up until its exile; Someone cared for and enjoyed it. The reservoir had previously been recovered in a good manner, and the feeders had a few pinholes in the gussets, but it would pump and play. The tuning was still quite passable. My God! When it went into the shed, it must have been almost pristine! Jim Tyler recounts the story of finding a 1920's Mustel art harmonium, a Mason & Hamlin 1400 (1880-85 Mustel art harmonium action) and IIRC a Kotykiewicz all sitting in a leaky dirt-floored shed! Of the three, only the '28 Mustel was salvageable, the other two were ruined. The Mustel in particular has only a few years previous been in the collection of an organist/music professor, and when he sold it I'm sure he did not give it away!
Imagine that: two complete art-harmoniums (and a third harmonium from an exceptionally good builder) rotting in a shed! What's the world coming to?
Rather than pull my hair in frustration, I channel the energy into doing the best work I can to bring these survivors back to a level of beauty and usefulness where they can find their way back to musical homes where they will be used, heard, and appreciated.
Enough jabber; the pictures, which are what you came to see: