1903 Pathe Le Menestrel Cylinder Phonograph With Both Mandrels & Rare Recorder In Box * Paris


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In production for just a few years (1901-03), the exquisite Le Menestrel was manufactured by Pathe and marketed by the mail order company J. Girard & Cie. Initially available with a fixed carriage and a single mandrel, it was re-designed by Pathe in 1903 so that it could play both salon and standard sized cylinders.

This example is in excellent condition throughout, and it’s original throughout. The salon mandrel slips snugly over the standard mandrel, and it can be removed without any effort. The carriage head slides easily up and down the adjustment slot, and it stays in place once it’s tightened down. The spun aluminum horn is likewise excellent, with just scattered minor dings, but no dents or damage.

The gutta percha Pathe reproducer has a good stylus, and the scarce Pathe recorder has a good cutter and comes in its original canister, with beautiful color lithography decorating the lid. The motor is still in good shape, and the phonograph — when fully wound — will play a cylinder through in its entirety.

The cast iron base and metal case are beautiful, as you can see, and the original green paint is clean and complete, with some wear in areas, but nothing significant or distracting. There’s some veining in the pot metal trunion, but the carriage moves freely, is completely intact and is structurally sound.

Arguably the most beautiful cylinder machine ever made, by any manufacturer, Le Menestrel is in a class of its own.


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