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Restorers and Manufacturers of Automatic Musical Instruments

Mills Violano Virtuoso

Mills Novelty Company manufactured the Violano-Virtuoso from 1909 through about 1929. The instrument featured a violin accompanied by a piano all operating electrically by way of electric motors, solenoids, and electromagnets controlled from a perforated paper roll. Advertised as “one of the eight greatest inventions of the decade,” the Violano-Virtuoso became one of the most commercially successful music machines.

This early Grand Model (serial number 426, also called “Baby” Grand Model or simply “Single Mills”) has been totally restored by the current owner. The beautiful quarter-sawn oak cabinet has been refinished. The original violin has been replaced with a hand-played instrument (original Mills violins are available to restore to original equipment). This model features the early mechanism, preferred by some collectors for its expression devices, but will play both early or late style rolls with a flip of a switch. The best of both worlds! Purchase includes six early style recut rolls (no boxes) and four late style recut rolls.

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