Town and Around

TA72 Organ Grinder and Monkey

$95

A common sight (and sound) on 19th century street corners, the organ grinder made his way through the town each day, playing a limited repertoire of popular songs: each one was programmed into the street organ meaning that the song was cranked out of it, rather than played.

The most beautiful street organs were made in Italy, and Italian organ manufacturers sprang up in other parts of Europe and the US as Italians emigrated. By 1880 it is reported that up to one in 20 Italian men in New York were organ grinders, working to support their families.

Organ grinders commonly kept a tame capuchin monkey to provide entertainment, carry out tricks, and collect coins from passersby. Our tiny little monkey in its red and gold outfit is small enough to climb up and sit on the organ grinder - a prime position.

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