Barrel Organs

Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Russian Empire, Odessa

    1909 - 1917

    I.Nechada organs and orchestrions factory

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

    56 x 51 x 36 cm

    On the case front side: “НЕЧАДА Балковская № 191 ОДЕССА”. On the keyframe: “+ 4 - 4”. Handwritten notes' names


    Street organ in wooden veneered case, on a pedestal with curved feet and with brass onlays on the side ribs. All case and pedestal sides are decorated with images of Cherubs with musical instruments, genre scenes in the compound frames, floral ornament in the marquetry technique and onlays with coloured glass. Removable panel with floral ornament in the marquetry technique and three windows, covered with a green cloth are on the façade. A set of fourteen metal piccolo pipes with black cover plugs are in the open window. A wooden plate covered with green fabric closes the rear side of the pipes. Inscription is below “НЕЧАДА Балковская No 191 ОДЕССА”. Staples and carrying strap in a triple frame in the marquetry technique are on the lateral sides. Pinned barrel lid with an aperture for the axis and six register sliders’ tips are on the right hand side. A crank in the form of an anchor that raises and lowers the keyframe is on the left hand side. The pinned barrel knife and bolt mechanism is below. Two lids with hook locks are on the top panel. A set of wooden flue piped is under the front lid. The pinned barrel for eight melodies, the keyframe twenty-six keys according to the number of basic tunes and notes’ names are under the back 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. An image of a girl with two lambs in front of the fence ornated by a triple compound frame and metal crank with wooden handle are on the case rear side.
    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.