View full screen - View 1 of Lot 167. A George III mahogany chamber organ by Hugh Russell, 1780.

A George III mahogany chamber organ by Hugh Russell, 1780

UK: Greenford Park WarehouseRestricted Species



- 15,000 GBP

Property from the Collection of a British Nobleman

A George III mahogany chamber organ by Hugh Russell, 1780

A George III mahogany chamber organ by Hugh Russell, 1780



- 15,000 GBP

Property from the Collection of a British Nobleman

A George III mahogany chamber organ by Hugh Russell


with a four and half octave retractable keyboard BB to f3, with bone naturals and ebony accidentals, six handstops controlling fifteenth, principal, bass diapason, hautboy, dulciano and treble diapson, two pedals, one operating the bellows, a socket in the left side of the case for a hand lever for the bellows, with appropriate later astragal glazed doors enclosing the pipes

246cm. high, 115cm. wide, 66cm. deep

The case


Glazed doors: Many putty pieces have fallen away from the back of the glazing bars. Loose pieces stored in a white plastic bag. The doors should travel upright.

Music stand possibly later.


These notes were made on 25th November 2020 during assembly.


Missing or damaged parts:

Pumping handle (at bass side) for pumping by an assistant. Probably this has been missing for many years. The internal mechanism for this handle still exists.

Lower back panel. This was removed many years ago, to allow the later fitting of a wooden rail.

Wood pipe stay rail (approx. 18" long). A temporary stay has been made of cardboard.

Gilded front pipes. Some gold leaf and gesso is flaking.

Two stop name discs are stored in a white bag.

Castors: The front right castor is broken, and stored in a plastic bag.

Some Hautboy (oboe) treble reed tongues may be damaged due to poor packing.

Many larger metal pipes are mishapen, because of being stored too long horizontally.



Other defects:

The foot-pumping pedal has too short a stroke making pumping difficult, and it creaks.

Windchest 'runnings' (leaks from note to note), observable in the Dulciana treble, indicate possible splitting in the windchest....due to low humidity at some time....this may be time-consuming to cure.

Shifting movement pedal: The Principal and Fifteenth stopknobs are spring-loaded to the 'off' position. This mechanism needs checking, to prevent unpleasant murmurs.

Parchment on the windchest's underside is loose, causing weird sounds from bottom 'D'.


Later replacements:

All the pipes are original except for the Hautboy (oboe) pipes which are perhaps twenty years old. Very well done and plausible copies of contemporary pipes.

Keyboard: The 'natural' surfaces have been re-covered with bone....again, beautifully done, perhaps twenty years ago.

The Bellows have been re-leathered, very well, about twenty years ago.


There has been considerable restoration about twenty years ago. This work is of high quality and entirely in keeping with the original.

The Hautboy has not been tuned, but otherwise the organ is more or less playable.



The organ is a very fine and precious instrument. It needs some work to bring it to a good playable condition.

The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

This lot contains ivory. Due to recent changes in the laws of many countries (e.g. US, France) Sotheby's recommends that buyers check with their own government regarding any importation requirements prior to placing a bid. For example, US regulations restrict the import of elephant ivory and prohibit the import of African elephant ivory. Please note that Sotheby's will not assist buyers with CITES licence applications where a buyer elects to either collect or arrange their own shipping, nor will Sotheby's assist with the international movement of ivory by air, either as freight or through hand carry. Sotheby's shipping will only assist in shipping the lot to either domestic UK or EU destinations, where delivery is made by road transport. A buyer's inability to export or import these lots cannot justify a delay in payment or sale cancellation.
Sotheby's, London, 26 November 1992, lot 466;
Acquired by Stanley J. Seeger (1930-2011) and in his collection;
until sold, 1000 Ways of Seeing, The Private Collection of the Late Stanley J. Seeger, these rooms, 6 March 2014, lot 710 (sold £38,750 with premium);
Acquired by Edward, Lord Ballyedmond (1944–2014);
thence by descent
c.f. James Boeringer, Organ Britannica: Organs In Great Britain, 1669-1860, London, 1989, p. 84.