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Shirley Temple's VibraHarp Gifted to Her by Its Designer, Clair Omar Musser $6000+

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  Lot #121  (Sale Order: 119 of 414)  
Sold for: $5,000.00 to onsite
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54" (137 cm.) w. x 29" d. x 33" h. The percussion instrument with brass bars and tubes that are paired with motor-driven butterfly valve which creates rich tremolo or vibrato resonance, bears the label of its maker J.C. Deagan of Chicago. Included are ten mallets with padded heads of various density to create different tones. Its designer was Clair Omar Musser, marimba virtuoso, conductor, inventor and engineer, whose co-interests of music and astronomy inspired him in the gifting of two of Shirley Temple's most unusual memorabilia (also see #122). The instrument is labeled "Deagan No. 55 Vibra-Harp Re. U.S. Pat. Off." and "J.C. Deagan, Inc. Chicago Made in USA". It has been preserved in its four original cases, each with the Deagan label on the case. The VibraHarp has a strong beautiful sound, is in excellent structural condition, and with some minor rubs on frame and light oxidation on a few brass keys. No reference appears to exist concerning the relationship of Shirley Temple with Clair Omar Musser, except his homage to her in meteorite documents (see the following item #122) and a photograph of Shirley and Musser taken in 1938. It is likely that the two met in 1937 at the time of the filming of "Wee Willie Winkie". As Musser was an acclaimed instructor for various Bengal Guards Drum and Bugle Corps, it is possible that he was involved in the training of that Corps for its prominent role in "Wee Willie Winkie". This is likely the very time that he made the acquaintance of young Shirley who was playing its leading role. In May 1942, an article was published in Movie-Radio Guide about "Shirley's Secret Hobby" which read "Digging into this deep, dark secret, it developed that La Temple has a full-size vibraphone in her special quarters at home which she plays a good deal".

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This item is part of "Love, Shirley Temple: Take Two"
 Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 | 11:00 AM  Eastern
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Shirley Temple's VibraHarp Gifted to Her by Its Designer, Clair Omar Musser $6000+
Shirley Temple's VibraHarp Gifted to Her by Its Designer, Clair Omar Musser $6000+
Lot number: 121
Seller: Theriault's
Event: "Love, Shirley Temple: Take Two"
Ends: Sunday, November 22 | 11:00 AM  Eastern

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