The organs of Paris
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Abbey

John Abbey (1785-1859) was an English organ builder, who went to Paris in 1825 on the invitation of Sébastien Érard, the celebrated harp and pianoforte maker, to work upon several organs which Érard had designed, e.g. an organ for the Exhibition of the Productions of National Industry in 1827 which won the Grand Médaille d’or. Abbey became soon a leading organ builder in France and elsewhere. He built the first choir organ in Paris (at St. Etienne-du- Mont). The firm was well-known in the 1920’s as builder of cinema- organs. John Abbey introduced several innovative techniques from England, among which the swell case (!), a balanced key-action, pedal controls for changing the stops, free reeds, the Dulciana stop and an improved winding system (bellows invented by Cummins). After his death in 1859, the firm was continued by his two sons, Eugène (Edwin) Abbey (1840-1895) and John Albert Abbey (1843- 1930). Eugène's son John-Marie Abbey (1886-1931) was the last builder in the family; the firm closed in 1935. The most important organ of Abbey in the Parisian region is the organs of St Vincent-de-Paul in Clichy-la-Garenne (a suburb of Paris), which is still in its original state.
Organs of Paris

Abbey

ORGANS OF PARIS 2.0 © Vincent Hildebrandt COLOPHON
John Abbey (1785-1859) was an English organ builder, who went to Paris in 1825 on the invitation of Sébastien Érard, the celebrated harp and pianoforte maker, to work upon several organs which Érard had designed, e.g. an organ for the Exhibition of the Productions of National Industry in 1827 which won the Grand Médaille d’or. Abbey became soon a leading organ builder in France and elsewhere. He built the first choir organ in Paris (at St. Etienne-du- Mont). The firm was well-known in the 1920’s as builder of cinema- organs. John Abbey introduced several innovative techniques from England, among which the swell case (!), a balanced key-action, pedal controls for changing the stops, free reeds, the Dulciana stop and an improved winding system (bellows invented by Cummins). After his death in 1859, the firm was continued by his two sons, Eugène (Edwin) Abbey (1840-1895) and John Albert Abbey (1843- 1930). Eugène's son John-Marie Abbey (1886-1931) was the last builder in the family; the firm closed in 1935. The most important organ of Abbey in the Parisian region is the organs of St Vincent-de-Paul in Clichy-la-Garenne (a suburb of Paris), which is still in its original state.