Mortier Taj Mahal (101 key)

The company Mortier was centred in Antwerp, Belgium building organs from the turn of the twentieth century to shortly after 1950. They were regarded as the finest machines to be used in dance halls and travelling shows. The carving work on the facade, the pipes and the effects were master-crafted.

Of their production, the 101 key is regarded as being the ultimate instrument and of these, two were made with extremely ornate facades and extra musical embellishments. The only one remaining is the magnificent Taj Mahal.

This superior Mortier organ was delivered new in 1924 to St Jean’s Palace, a dance hall in Antwerp, Belgium. It was an amazing success and of course being in Mortier's home town it was their icon.

The facade is approximately 8.5 metre long by 8 metres high and symbolises good luck (Chinese dragons), prosperity (Grecian urns of plenty), music (Saint Cecilia - the Patron Saint of music) and love (Aphrodites statue). The facade was carved in Italy over a two year period and decorated with three forms of gold leaf.

Over 1000 light globes adorn the façade and these are activated in spectacular patterns by the cardboard music. The machine has over 1000 pipes, snare drum, bass drum, woodblocks, triangle, castanets, xylophone and other unique instruments including a large gong originally used to signify the change of dance partners. It is spectacular to see and hear the Taj Mahal playing modern or traditional music.