Player Pianos



    Germany, Berlin

    Circa 1925

    Kuhl & Klatt

    Wood, metal, leather, glass; carpentry and mechanical works, casting, glazing, wood carving

    164 x 82 x 188 cm, 380 kg

    Marks: on the clap inner side: “Kuhl & Klatt/ BERLIN”, on the nameplate on the wooden bar: “R. Pingeon, Corcelles. Ntel “, on the nameplate near the modes switch: KLAVIER MANDOLINE XYLOPHONE”


    Orchestrion is a piano-based combined automatic musical instrument, complemented by a 27-tone Xylophon. The instrument is mounted in vertical oak lacquered case, with protruding keyboard supported by chiseled consoles. Consoles rest on the protruding feet with metal wheels. Two piano pedals are in the plinth center. The keyboard has a range of eighty-five tones and is closed by a hinged lid. The name of the manufacturer is on the lid inner side. The celluloid nameplate with the Trading house title is on the fallboard.

    The upper front wall is divided into several sections. Narrow horizontal window closed with faceted glass is in the central upper section. Large panel with the tape drive mechanism compartment is in the center. It is closed by the glazed sliding door with raised panels and carved wooden onlays on the sides. Levers for controlling the playback tempo and the roll movement direction are on the lower part of the compartment. Rotary playback modes selector - piano, xylophone and mandolin effects is on the left lateral side. Arched windows with inserted mirrors and wooden carving are in the lateral sections of the front wall. Brass glass-bead domed wall-mounted lamps are fixed between the inserts. The top part of the case is decorated with arched pediment with carved onlay. The instrument can be utilized as an ordinary piano. In automatic operation mode, the orchestrion plays music pieces, encoded on paper music rolls, with the possibility of activating the xylophone and the device, for making mandolin-like sound. The orchestrion movement is driven by electric motor, mounted in the case lower part.

    Music media: paper music roll.