Automatic String Instruments

Orchestrion "Fratinola"

    Orchestrion "Fratinola"

    Germany, Berlin


    Heinrich Arnold, Philipps AG

    Wood, metal, steel, brass, felt, mirror; mechanical and carpentry works, varnishing, carving, veneering, turning

    Inscriptions on lid inner side and bar: “FRATINOLA”, “HEINRICH ARNOLD”, “FRATI & CO./ BERLIN N. 58”, “ZWEIGNIEDERLASSUNG DER PHILIPPS AKTIEN-CESELLSCHAFT”, “DARMSTADT”. In the tape drive section: “Rücklauf”, “Ausschalten”, “Einschalten”, “ab MANDOLINE an”, “ab XYLOPHON an”, “TEMPO”, “LANGSAM / SCHNELL”, “lentement / vite”, “slowly / quickly”


    Orchestrion in dark brown mahogany veneered wooden case in the shape of the classic piano.  The keyboard on the key bottom support is supported by side twisted turned columns. Two pedals are below. The keyboard with eighty-eight keys is closed by the lid with lock, music stand for notes and golden inscription “FRATINOLA” on the lid inner side. The front panel above the keyboard with pilasters and mascarons on both sides is divided into three sections. Tape drive mechanism with the control of the paper music roll’ movement, the melody tempo and volume, with inscriptions in German, French and English, is mounted in the central section framed by twisted half columns. It is closed by sliding door with the handle and a carved fleuron in the center. Oval mirrors with facets and pin-up lamps with paired candelabrum with green-blue beads’ fringes are mounted on lateral sections. Narrow rounded faceted mirror and carved finial are above. The orchestrion musical movement is comprised of piano with mandolin effect and Xylophon, located horizontally. Electric drive. The orchestrion was manufactured at the Berlin factory, the former Frati & Co., which became part of Philipps AG in 1923. Musical media: paper music roll.