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Mechanical Music

Music and Entertainment

  • Newbury , UK

Online catalogue is online, you can view via SAS Live

A5 printed catalogue is available

Auction Starts at 2pm (UK time)

The property of the late Mike Appleton Lot 1 to Lot 83

Mike Appleton (1936-2020) was a television producer, particularly remembered for The Old Grey Whistle Test and for his co-ordination of Bob Geldof’s Anglo-American Live Aid concert in 1985, for which he won a BAFTA award.

At home, he amassed an astonishingly comprehensive collection of Edison phonographs and related material, much of it imported from the USA, although he also had an interest in the British rival Edison-Bell, whose later, less well-known models were markedly different from Edison’s. One, the Homestead (Lot 18 in the present sale) may be the only known example.  The bulk of the collection was sold in the 1990s pending a house move, leaving the smaller but representative selection now being offered for sale (Lots 1 – 83).  Except where otherwise noted, the machines appear to be in sound working order, but many have not been played in recent years and are dry of lubricant.

The Property of the late Graham Webb Lot 139 to Lot 167

Graham Webb (1930-2005) was born in Oxford but moved to London at the start of the War. By the end of the war, he was working for a roofing contractor, then, after serving in the Royal Navy, as a steward on an ocean liner.  A job in the auction department of Whiteleys (many department stores held auctions at that time) led to working for an antiques dealer, selling fireplaces removed from bombed-out houses.

It was in 1963 that he opened his own shop in the Portobello Road, and there he discovered, by a chance purchase of a stack of musical boxes which he quickly sold at a useful profit, that this was a promising line, and he became the first specialist dealer in mechanical music.  His shop was a hub for the early members of the Musical Box Society of Great Britain, and his Cylinder and Disc Musical Box Handbooks became standard works.  He eventually left London for Yorkshire, but returned south a few years later to Brighton, where he opened another shop, which he retained until retirement.

This specialist auction will contain a good selection of musical boxes. We have put some videos on YouTube for you as a teaser...

Order of Auction

Lot 1 to Lot 83 – From the estate of the late Mike Appleton

Lot 84 to Lot 138 – Various Properties

Lot 139 to Lot 167 – From the estate of the late Graham Webb

Lot 168 to Lot 172 – Various Properties

Please note this is a non-attended auction. We will be offering viewing for all auctions strictly by appointment. We are still offering viewings and valuations via WhatsApp or video calling.

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Price Realised

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