Wurlitzer-Bruck  Music Antiquarians

Musical Instruments

A significant collection of rare, historic and fine examples of early brasses, woodwinds, strings and keyboards, mostly European and American but with some unusually fine ethnic instruments as well.



Wallis, Joseph

Boxwood & Ivory Flute.

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Indian Ankle-rattles (napur Or Napura)


Minor erosions in a few places on the larger one, otherwise excellent.
Etched brass with bird head and tail at extremities. Played in pairs, usually by dancers. A cotton cord goes through the bird and attaches around the ankle and the second toe.With good age, these came from a mid-20th century collection.
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Luristan Bronze Bell


A cast bronze sphericle bell, 4.5"h, with openwork sides and the shape resembling a pomegranate, a center band with button decoration and a tripod decorative element on the base. The bell contains two bronze balls. A custom lucite stand holds the bell from its own suspension lug on the top. It is intact with a nice blue-green patina with some encrustation. Excellent condition.
Luristan bronzes were crafted in the western section of what is now Iran, from the 12th to the 8th centuries B.C. Musical instruments of any kind are quite rare, it being much more common to find artifacts of horse trappings and harness ornaments, jewelry and household articles.
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Violin And Case With A Story!  The 'johnny Reb'



John Parker, an English loom-maker who made violins as a hobby, came to America in 1857 and chose Philadelphia as his new home. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted as a musician in the navy. Well after the war he stopped making violins because of poor eyesight and at that time an article appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer telling his story and that of one of his prized possessions, a violin he called the Johnny Reb, "...a little, flat dark-colored Stradivarius" [to other eyes, including ours, an ordinary 19th-century German violin]. As Parker told it:

"No, sir…I wouldn't think of parting with 'Johnny Reb'. That fiddle is rather unprepossessing in appearance, I will allow, but for tone it can't be beaten. Then, there is some little sentiment involved. How did I get it? Well, it's an interesting story. While we were on the Wabash, one of the boat's crew went over to Morris' Island one night. They ran across a squad of rebels who were having a gay time in camp. The soldiers were playing and singing, telling stories and dancing. Our crew routed them out. There were a few shots exchanged and the rebs finally took to their heels, leaving everything behind. One of the crew singled out this fiddle and brought it back to the Wabash. He knew that I was passionately fond of fiddles, and he gave it to me on the condition that I should play for him on it one hour every night for a week. Of course, I assented and that's how I got it. It is of Italian make, and fully 125 years old [Parker's assumption that the violin was a Stradivari was incorrect], and the tone - well, just listen to that…"

Sometime after the Civil War, Parker opened up his prized violin and wrote on the inside of the back in large capital letters: “THIS VIOLIN WAS CAPTEARD FROM THE REBBLES AT MORRICS IRLAND.S.C. 1863 WITH THE CREW FROM THE FLAGSHIP WABASH” [sic], as well as carving his insignia near the soundpost. At some point he also made a wonderful wooden case for the “Johnny Reb”, decorating it with mother-of-pearl inlays on the top in the shape of roses and acorns, bandings of inlays showing patterns of contrasting woods, and pasted cardboard picture cutouts on the inside of the pocket flaps depicting pretty girls, cows and lions! A brass plaque near the handle reads” “Made by J. Parker 1876” We were told that Parker had intended entering the case in the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, hence the date – but he missed the entry date and it was ineligible for acceptance! We were also told that it was Parker who sprinkled rose petals on the inside of the case, kept there lovingly by his daughters and all the next owners.

Accompanying the “Johnny Reb” is the article from the Philadelphia Inquirer and a note from the last owner detailing its provenance.
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