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A large Victorian carved oak organ case
the ribbed, coved cornice above a series of five open arcades with foliate spandrels to the top corners, the upper superstructure comprising posts and bars, the surmounts carved in relief with gothic ornament,
|Dimensions:||140cm (55") High, 366cm (144") Wide, 42cm (16½") Deep, at cornice|
Great St. Mary’s Church in Cambridge is both the Parish and University church for Cambridge and is found at the north end of King’s Parade with a 35m high tower. The University clock above the Great East Door can be heard chiming the quarters. The current building was finished by 1519, the tower by 1608. It has a traditional role within the legislation of the University – which cites that all Officers of the University must live within twenty miles of the church, undergraduates within three.
What is particularly unusual is that Great St Mary’s has the distinction of sporting two self-contained pipe organs. “The University Organ” – built and maintained by the University – was originally installed in 1698 and is found in the West Gallery. The king’s organ maker “Father Smith” was responsible for building the original – transplanting much of it from St. James’ Piccadilly. It is a particularly fine instrument, but hasn’t always been in the best of repairs. In the 1850’s the parish services had long been permissioned to use the University organ for their services but it had become very unreliable and the University was unwilling to commit the funds for a refurbishment at that time. “The parishioners grew so exasperated that in 1869 they had their own organ built by Miller of Cambridge, in the chancel. The Miller organ served the parish for almost 100 years until its replacement by a brand new Parish organ by Kenneth Jones in 1991.”
The carved oak organ case, found by LASSCO in a Dorset cowshed, is the framework for this Victorian “Town” organ by A T Miller of Cambridge.
Miller’s Music Shop is a well-known establishment focussed these days on retailing fine pianos. It was founded in 1856 by Alfred Tubelcain Miller and was originally known as “Miller’s Organ Builders and Tuners” and “Music and Instrument Sellers”. They were originally based at 6-7 Sydney St (moving to No’s 53-54 in 1966) then to Sussex St in 1974. They are still there today.
It isn’t for LASSCO to determine how this fabulous gothic oak joinery might be re-used but the projecting cornice and arcaded front would we think make an excellent bar-front.