Bob & Paul Milhous only wanted one object in an Austrian collection. It was a Weber Maestro orchestrion, a mechanical device that produces the sounds of a 24-piece orchestra. To close the deal, the brothers had to buy the entire 260-item collection. Through the years, they’ve added to it, so that their assortment of antique cars, mechanical musical devices, clocks and curiosities now totals over 1200 items. In late February, RM and Sotheby’s will sell it all for what’s expected to be more than $40m.
Over 30 vintage cars are in the auction on February 24-25 in Boca Raton, including a 1912 Oldsmobile Limited Tourabout, estimated at $1.4-$1.6m. One of the most unusual lots is a 1998 custom-built carousel that the Milhous brothers commissioned from an Ohio manufacturer who used methods from the early 1900’s to build it. The carousel’s horses, for example, are carved from solid basswood blocks. The winning bid for this rarity is expected to be more than $1m.