Player Pianos

Orchestrion “Xylophon – Mandolin – Piano”

    Orchestrion “Xylophon – Mandolin – Piano”

    Germany, Leipzig

    Early 1920s

    Leipziger Orchestrionwerke Paul Lösche

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

    152 x 86 x 165 cm, 500 kg

    Marks: on the copper plate on the clap inner side: “Leipziger Orchestrionwerke Paul Lösche”, on the celluloid nameplate near the push-button switch: “MODERATOR AUSLÖSUNG XYLOPHON MANDOLINE”, on the coin selector door: “Elektrischer Fern Einwurf 10 Pfennig”


    Orchestrion is a combined automatic musical piano-based instrument, coupled with 27-tones xylophone. The instrument is mounted in a vertical oak lacquered case with protruding keyboard on key bottom support standing on cancellated consoles. The consoles rest on the protruding feet with metal wheels. Two piano pedals are in the center of the base bar. The keyboard with the range of eighty-five tones. A hinged lid closes white plastic and ebony keys. Brass nameplate with the manufacturer’s name and images of the medals received at various exhibitions in 1906 – 1908 are on its internal side. Front upper panel is divided into several sections. Narrow upper section is a stained-glass window made of green textured glass elements and mirror inserts. Narrow transparent glass window is in the window stained-glass panel center. Light bulbs are installed behind the stained glass window. Wooden panel with tape drive mechanism window in the center. Two swing doors with mirror inserts close it. On both sides of the window are two paneled doors with copper revolving candlesticks. The case top side is decorated with carved baluster along the rear edge. Wooden coin acceptor with the inscription in German is fixed on the case left lateral side. The instrument can be played like an ordinary piano. In automatic operating mode, the orchestrion plays music encoded on paper music roll. It is possible to activate the xylophone and the device that creates a mandolin sound simultaneously. The push-button switch, located under the tape driving mechanism, performs mode control. Orchestrion movement is driven by electric motor, mounted in the case bottom part. Musical media: paper music roll.