Automatic String Instruments

Orchestrion "Philipps Violine PC 10"

    Orchestrion "Philipps Violine PC 10"

    Germany, Frankfurt am Main

    Circa 1925

    J.D. Philipps & Söhne AG

    Wood, metal, glass; carpentry and mechanical works, varnishing, electrical installation work

    218 x 165 x 80 cm, weight 500 kg

    On the keyboard lid inner side: “Philipps/Frankfurt – Main”; on the key stop rail: “Piаnella”; on the nameplate: “PHILIPPS/PIANO: No 2545/APPARAT No:40353”,on the cast frame nameplate: “PH AG”, on the soundboard: “2545”, near the speed controller lever: “Langsam – Schnell”


    Orchestrion in varnished oak case in the form of high piano, decorated with carved inserts. White plastic and ebony keys are closed with the hinged lid with inlaid manufacturer's name on the case inner side. The key bottom support rests on twisted chiseled consoles, standing are on protruding feet with apron rolls. Two piano pedals in the middle of wooden cramp bar. The case front side above the keyboard is closed with detachable wooden sectioned panel that is decorated with carved elements, two ornately shaped mirrors and paired wall bracket lamps. Two dead locks fix the panel. The frieze panel framed by layouts is above, with onlay inscription “PHIILIPPS – VIOLINE”. Fancy carved masks are on the panel sides. Square window closed with embossed sliding shutter is in the front panel central part. A music roll spool box is behind it. The spool box consists of master spool, the tracking bar and spool docking pins. Vertical control panel for the orchestrion instruments is on the left side. The orchestrion is comprised of the following instruments: a piano with the add-on mandolin effect, a xylophone, two drums, a cymbal, a violin pipe organ register. The main bellows are in the orchestrion bottom part. The bellows create vacuum in the entire system and ensure the operation of all instruments. The bellows are driven by AC commutator motor. The orchestrion plays musical pieces encoded on paper music rolls. The instrument may be utilized as an ordinary piano. The key for the panel’s locks and lids is in the set.