Musical Houseware

Musical spinning wheel with organ

    Musical spinning wheel with organ

    Western Europe

    Circa 1800

    Wood, metal, steel, brass, leather, fabric; carving, carpentry and mechanic works, turning, veneering, varnishing, casting

    114 x 46 x 40 cm


    Mechanical spinning wheel in rectangular case of mahogany veneered and varnished oak panels, with carved ornament along the bottom side, on four curved feet decorated with concave lines and onlay goldish medallions in the corners. Horizontal crossbeam connects two front feet. Two treadles are fixed on it: the treadle for manual spinning of the wheel mechanism and of the musical movement that is located in the body. Ornately shaped onlay with a keyhole is on the case front side, small aperture with the movement activating lever is above it. Folding brass handles are on lateral sides, the left side panel is detachable, with a snap shatter, eight-throw knob for switching on and selecting the pinned wooden barrel tunes.

    Musical movement – organ is mounted inside the case: pinned wooden barrel for eight tunes, a set of twenty-four wooden pipes arranged horizontally, bellows with safety valve, brass rail with twenty-four delicate keys, according to the number of fundamental tones, is above the barrel. When the rail is raised, the barrel is set in one of eight positions in accordance with the selected melody.

    Two vertical racks and pewter wheel with ten spokes installed on the axle between them, propelled from the foot drive treadle by a crank gear are on the spinning wheel top surface. Racks’ lower parts, square in cross-section, are decorated with frame-shaped inserts made of light and black wood and onlay brass medallions in the shape of sunflowers.

    Racks’ upper parts are in the shape of fluted columns with finials. A spindle with grooved flyer spinning frame and spool for reeling the yarn coming through the aperture in the rack is between them. Clamping screw and tow bracket are on the rack with an aperture as well. The spindle is connected with the wheel with white drive cord.

    Spinning wheel starts rotating when the foot drive treadle is pressed, the flyer spinning frame intertwines the roving prepared by the spinner from the tow, and the thread is wound on the spool. When the musical movement is activated, pinned wooden barrel rotates and working bellows are set in motion, forcing air into wind chest with valves that distribute compressed air between the wind pipes.

    Pins and bridges of wooden barrel raise the keys that open the valves of the corresponding pipes; the air from the wind chest enters the windpipes and makes them sound. Music media: pinned barrel.

    Musical spinning wheel with organ entered the museum Collection repository from the private collection of Frank and Lora Metzger (Rye, New York), after their moving to Steward, Florida (Stuart, Florida). Two similar items are in the Stockholm Music Museum, Sweden.


    Инв. 2691/ММП