The Mechanical Music Museum has an extensive collection that includes gramophones, music boxes, street pianos, fairground organs, street pianos, fairground organs and polyphones, as well as the marvellous Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ.
It also has an extensive collection of Victorian and Twentieth Century gaudy and barge ware china. It seams like a place where Barbara Jones or Peter Blake could have been enchanted. This post is more about the decorative items – rather than the organs, but it was just my love of extreme collections that inspired it.
Above is is the traditional painted style of a street organ and below are a set of novelty music boxes and music box discs.
From the late 1950s, Robert Finbow ran a house clearance and furniture business in Finningham. During house clearances, Robert occasionally obtained musical boxes and street pianos. Other pieces of memorabilia which caught his eye were quickly acquired and stored away.
Over the years he amassed a sizeable collection, but there was nowhere to show these treasures to the public. The Museum was built to house Robert Finbow’s collection of automatic instruments and David Englands collection of cinema memorabilia. It opened on Sunday 10th of October 1982.
Below are some of the antique Tobacco jars on display.
A mechanical mannequin, in this case a clown playing a piano, and below a banker at a table with a safe of money.
The roof beams of the barn are decorated with shellac records.
In the picture below you can see in the mirror a very small part of the extensive teapot collection they have at Cotton.
The paintings below are by a local artist and in a native style. Today it would be called ‘outsider art’.
A screen decorated with cigarette cards is one of the main things that made me think of Peter Blake, as they are all of ‘Empire’ images of famous icons of the age.
Their website can be seen here.