Barrel Organs

Street reed organ "Meloton"

    Street reed organ "Meloton"

    France, Paris

    circa 1880

    Gavioli et Cie -organ; A. Gasparini - pinned barrel

    Wood, metal, leather, fabric, paper; casting, woodwork, lathing, intarsia, incrustation, polishing

    64 x 81 x 38 сcm, 50 kg

    On the pedestal: “MELOTON”, “GAVIOLI & Cie BREVTéS S.C.D.C. RUE DE CITEAOUX, 3. FBC ST. ANTOINE.”, “PARIS”. On the lid façade: "Réparé par A. Gasparini, Rue de la VÉGA 17 et 19", Paris”, on the lid: “JLES THOMAS Pére & Fils Paris”


    Barrel organ in rectangular, mahogany wood veneered case on the high pedestal with corner feet reinforced curved brass onlays. The pedestal top is edged with golden colour moulding. On the front side of the socle is Composition of painted leaves and flowers in narrow frame is on the pedestal front side. The inscription in the frame made in the marquetry technique is on the façade front side: “HARMONIPAN”. A set of twenty wooden flue pipes with black plugs is above it. Knife and bolt mechanism and a crank that lifts and lowers the keyframe in the operating position are on the case left side. Register sliders’ handles with leather straps and round pinned barrel lid are on the case right side. Two hinged mahogany lid with hooks are on the top side. A paper sticker with a hand-written list of tunes in German is on the lid inner side. Pinned barrel for eight melodies and keyframe with thirty keys according to the number of tunes are under the lid. With the keyframe raised, the barrel can be moved along the axis and set to one of nine fixed positions according to the selected melody. A paper sticker with handwritten notes’ names in Latin letters is on the keyframe.
    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.