Barrel Organs

Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Russian Empire, Odessa

    1900 -1917 - organ; the 1930 - 1950 - pinned barrel

    Kakushidze Kako (Akakiy), I.Nechada organs and orchestrions factory

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

    57 x 50 x 34 cm

    On the case front side: “НЕЧАДА Балковская № 191 ОДЕССА”. On the keyframe, wind chest, barrel and barrel lid: “1910”


    Barrel organ in wooden veneered case, on a pedestal with curved feet and brass onlays on the side ribs. Its front side is decorated with floral ornament with the image of a dancing girl with a tambourine in the marquetry technique. The case and pedestal lateral and rear sides are ornated with triple compound frames. Removable panel with the images of musicians with string instruments, dancing pairs and floral ornament in the marquetry technique closes the façade with compound frames. Four windows are on the façade. Painted images on metal lattices over green background are in the windows. Dancers with ribbons are in vertical windows, various species of flowers - in the upper horizontal window, a bird surrounded by flowers - in the bottom one. The inscription is under the panel “НЕЧАДА Балковская No 191 ОДЕССА”. Staples and a carrying strap enlaced with coloured ribbons are on the lateral sides. Pinned barrel lid with an aperture for the axis and a register slider lever 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. Knife and bolt mechanism is below. Two lids with hook locks are on the top panel that is covered with coloured rag with fringe. A set of wooden flue pipes are under the front lid. Pinned barrel for eight melodies and a keyframe with twenty-five keys according to the number of basic tunes, number “1910” and notes’ names is under the rear 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. A crank with wooden handle in 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.