[ acquisitions ]

Collection Acquires Late-19th Century Music Box


William Purvis and the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments is pleased to announce the acquisition of a late-19th century Sublime Harmonie music box by Swiss maker Paillard.


Details of the floral inlay atop of the Sublime Harmonie music box.

The Paillard family in Ste.-Croix Switzerland pioneered many advancements of music box craftsmanship, including improvements in changing from one tune to the next, the development of interchangeable cylinders, and the patented invention of the Sublime Harmonie music comb tuning arrangement.

This ca. 1880 example is encased in rosewood with fine floral inlay decorating the top. A 17 inch cylinder is outfitted with eight selections from a variety of 19th century operas including a march from Donizetti’s La fille du régiment, the “Can-can” from Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers, and the famed “Anvil Chorus” from Verdi’s Il trovatore.

The music box was donated to the Collection by Ms. Elizabeth H. Nutt of Candia, NH, and we are grateful to her contribution to our growing collection of mechanical musical instruments, as well as to the museum as a whole.

Published July 24, 2016
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A Gift: The Paul A. Munier
Collection of Military Snare Drumsticks

Select pairs from the Paul A. Munier Collection of Military Snare Drumsticks.

Select pairs from the Paul A. Munier Collection of Military Snare Drumsticks.



We are pleased to announce the acquisition of an important collection of 20th century military drumsticks. This gift, donated by Paul A. Munier of Haverill, MA, comprises 60 pairs made in a variety of materials, lengths, and tip shapes. Highlights include hand-turned pairs of rosewood, ebony, cocobolo, persimmon, zebra wood, and solid steel.

Solid steel snare drums sticks used for practice by F.G. Holt of Souza's band.

Solid steel snare drumsticks used for practice
by F.G. Holt of Sousa’s band.

The solid steel pair of sticks pictured here was used for practice on a rubber pad by F.G. Holt, a snare drummer who played in the band of John Philip Sousa. Other pairs of Mr. Munier’s collection were owned by champion drummers P.F. Mietzner, the “Poet Drummer of Connecticut,” and A.B. Smith, the “Farmer Drummer of Connecticut.”

Mr. Munier is a retired school teacher who has long been interested in American military music. For many years he spent his leisure hours as a drum major, composer, and editor of multiple editions of military drum duets. His donation is a unique addition to our holdings, and we are grateful for his generosity in providing the funds to have the collection photographed and digitally preserved. We hope to display a small portion of his collection in the near future.

Published June 1, 2015
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[ acquisitions ]

Announcing acquisition of Petryn Collection, including Amati & Guarneri violins

Nicolò Amati, Cremona, 1679

The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments has acquired the Andrew F. Petryn Collection of String Instruments and Bows, director William Purvis is pleased to announce. The collection of more than twenty objects was received in bequest following Mr. Petryn’s death in October 2013. Highlights include violins by Italian masters Nicolò Amati and Andrea Guarneri, and three bows by the pre-eminent French archetier François Tourte.

The Guarneri and Amati violins are magnificent examples of the work of two great representatives of the famed Cremonese school of string instrument making. They are in an especially fine state of preservation, and their provenances are well documented over the many generations that have ensued since they left the hands of their makers over four centuries ago.

In addition, the collection also comprises two violins of German make and twelve more bows by important archetiers, among them Jean Adam, Jacques LaFleur, François Nicolas Voirin, James Dodd, and Albert Nürnberger.


Published September 9, 2014
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