Barrel Organs

Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Georgia, Tbilisi


    Organ-builder Kitesov

    Wood, metal, brass, steel, leather, fabric; woodwork, lathing, marquetry, painting

    60 x 52 x 35 cm

    On the case front side: “ОРГАННЫЙ МАСТЕР КИТЕСОВ. ТБИЛИСИ”. On the keyframe: “2440”


    Barrel organ in dark brown wooden, veneered, with triple compound frames of green and light colours, on a pedestal on the curved feet with brass-nickelled onlays on the side ribs. The ornament in the shape of water lilies over light green background is on the front case side. Images of Cherubs with musical instruments and floral ornament in the marquetry technique are on the removable panel and on the pedestal. Four windows are on the panel. The painted images of Georgian venders in the national costumes are of on the metal lattice in the vertical windows. A bird surrounded by flowers over green background is in the horizontal one. Fourteen metal piccolo pipes with black cover plugs and coloured glass pendants are in the upper window. Inscription on black background is under the panel “Органный мастер Китесов. Тбилиси”. Light-coloured inserts with the images of Cherubs with musical instruments and flowers, staples and a carrying strap wrapped in colored ribbons are on the case lateral sides that are decorated with compound frames. The pinned barrel lid with an aperture for the axis and six register sliders’ tips with multicoloured ribbons are on the right hand side. A crank in the form of an anchor that raises and lowers the keyframe in the operating position are on the left hand side. Knife and bolt mechanism is below. Two lids with hook locks are on the top panel with compound frame. A set of wooden flue pipes is under the front lid. Pinned barrel for eight melodies; a keyframe with twenty-six keys according to the number of tunes, notes’ names and number “2440” are under the front lid. With the keyframe raised, the barrel can be moved along the axis and set to one of fixed positions according to the selected melody. Light-colored insert with an image of Cherub with pipe, and a metal crank with wooden handle are on the rear side that is decorated with a compound frame.
    As the crank is moved, the worm gear rotates the barrel and drives the bellows that inject air into the wind chest with valves. Pins and bridges on the lift the keys that open the valves of the corresponding pipes. The air from the wind chest enters the pipes and make them sound.
    Music media: pinned barrel.