Philipps Model 47 (Pfau) Pianella
[Pfau = Peacock]
(Wurlitzer Style 47 Mandolin PianOrchestra)

Original Location: Belgium

Original Catalogue Specifications:

56 Note Musical Scale:

Special Lighting Effects:


Chronological History:

Circa 1907-08
Manufactured by J.D. Philipps & Son, Bockenheim, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany.

Circa 1908-10
Original location, Belgium.

Circa 1969
Roy Haning & Neal White collection, Troy, Ohio.

About 1968-69 the Pianella Model Pfau (Peacock) was found somewhere in Belgium by Eugene DeRoy, and subsequently sold to Roy Haning and Neal White. During shipment of the orchestrion to the United States, it was either bought or traded by Hathaway & Bowers, Inc., and shipped to Santa Fe Springs, California.

Circa 1969
Hathaway & Bowers, Inc., Santa Fe Springs, California.

Purchased from Roy Haning and Neal White, of Troy, Ohio, the instrument was scrubbed clean and set up in the Hathaway & Bowers, Inc., showroom.

Circa 1970
Bronson collection, Michigan.

Restored Philipps "Pfau" Pianella / Wurlitzer style 47 Mandolin PianOrchestra.After the purchase by Bud Bronson, the Model "Pfau" was restored in the Hathaway & Bowers, Inc., shop. A replica Philipps repeating triangle action was installed to round out the trapwork compliment. The instrument was originally tubed to play Philipps PC (Wurlitzer Concert PianOrchestra) rolls, but was retubed to play PM (Wurlitzer Mandolin PianOrchestra) rolls due to the much greater general availability of this type of music roll. The musical scale was changed from 56-notes to 61-notes. Since the piano had unison coupled bass notes, it was able to accommodate the change in scale compass without a problem. The original Philipps main chest being in very poor condition was replaced by a new chest, copying a more modern, "next generation," Philipps main chest design.

All the original lighting effects were missing. The two large "magic lamps," also occasionally described by Philipps as "fancy lamps," were duplicated by using proportionally scaled up patterns measured from the similar, and considerably smaller, American version, the "Wonderlamp," as found on Wurlitzer style LX 65-note orchestrions. The amount of upwards scaling was determined by interpolating dimensions and proportions taken from the original "magic lamp" holes in the Philipps case, as well as comparative measurements taken from Philipps catalogues and advertising pictures which illustrated the Model "Pfau." The center Peacock with lighted, revolving tail was a rescaled version of the Wurlitzer "Peacock," as found on the style 12 PianOrchestra. The center, animated scene was duplicated from catalogue illustrations and advertisements, with the mechanics and lighting designed after similar instruments, such as the animation mechanism in the Wurlitzer style 40 Mandolin PianOrchestra.


Information provided by Terry Hathaway, B. Bronson and Siegfried Wendel.


Circa 1909/10 Philipps poster/catalogue; Circa 1911/12 Philipps catalogue; Circa 1914 Wurlitzer advertising flyer; Q. David Bowers and Dana Johnson.