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Made in Liverpool in the 1960s, it is known as a Loophonium (or alternatively as a Harpic-phone) and comprises the main part of a
silver-plated euphonium with the all-important substitution of a lavatory pan for the horn. Appropriately for the flower power era, the glazed pottery pan has been embellished with painted decoration of flowers, scrolls and foliage while the wooden seat has been reshaped and applied with three gold strings to form a lyre. The Loophonium was devised by the humourist, flautist and broadcaster Fritz Spiegl for the April Fool’s Day concerts that were staged in Liverpool by the Liverpool Philharmonic for 25 years from 1952.

The instrument features in Spiegl’s book Music Through the Looking Glass, where it is being played by the author, and a copy of the book will be offered with the Loophonium when it comes up for sale next month estimated at £500-1000.