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The Performing Arts 5

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The Organ Grinder, The Monkey and The Hand Organ Box. A box that is a music box. (The windup key is underneath the box.) Perhaps it is a stretch of the imagination to call this a Performing Arts box but, in fact, the Monkey performed constantly while the music played and passed the Organ Grinder's hat around the audience when he finished his performance or, perhaps, that was also part of his performance. The little fellow did all sorts of humorous things; jumping from one person to another, swinging by his tail from the push bar of the instrument, always chattering excitedly and peering into the faces of all watching him to make sure the reaction was what was wanted. The reaction being--reaching into one's purse or pocket for a handful of change. When you extended your hand with the change in it, he quickly came and placed the cap beneath your hand so you could pour the handful of change into it for him. Occasionally he would pick up a quarter or half dollar and peer at it as though he was looking to see if it was real, sometimes even biting it. That always drew a laugh from the audience. What I have just described was commonly seen on the streets of New York in the 1920's and 30's and even into the 40's. They would stand on a street corner and small crowds would gather round to watch the performance. Immigrants, with few of the skills needed to survive in the New World, earned their way with these hand organs. The stair step arrangement on the far right of the box is the punch card music role that made the music play , not unlike early programming cards for computers. A bit of New York history! Retail:$329.00. Our price: $297.90. Brand New and wonderfully well done! A limited edition, number 8 of 250.

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