Why buy the world’s first electronic synthesizer? The answer is WHY NOT

Why buy the world's first electronic synthesizer? The answer is WHY NOT

When you’ve tired of collecting Ming vases, buying up private islands in the shape of snails, palm trees, etc. and hunting the Most Dangerous Game, what’s a monied, eclectic sort supposed to do? Ah, that’s it. Thank you, FACT. Buy the world’s first electronic synthesizer. That’s what you do.

Imagine the fulfillment and short-lived passion glossing over an empty, essentially meaningless existence that this 1905 synth built of wood and brass (so steampunk) built by a dude named Max Kohl could bring. Nineteenth-century physicist and early Kraftwerk fan Hermann Von Hemholtz designed this thing, using tuning forks to generate tones through the magic of electromagnetism. The auction house, Bonham’s, states that these things are “extremely rare, with only one similar but smaller apparatus located in a US institution that we know of” and that this one’s in pretty good shape for (surely) having survived so many steampunk raves. If you want this thing and you got $$$, the auction takes places October 22 in NYC. Hell, you’re probably there already. The asking price is $20,000-$30,000, which is less than a year’s tuition at Sarah Lawrence, so why not? YOLO.

• Bonham’s listing: http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22247/lot/245

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