Barrel Organs

Street organ

    Street organ

    Austro-Hungarian Empire

    late 19th century

    Wood, bronze, brass, steel, leather, fabric, paper; casting, woodwork, lathing, marquetry, polishing

    63 x 35 x 60 cm, 18.2 kg

    On the paper label: “1. Šumi Marica”, “2. Má milá neveř mné”, “3. Masopustni pohod”, “4. Šel drátenik po ulici”, “5. Radeckyho pochod”, “6. Jen ty na mne nečekej”, “7. Má jediná – má rozmilá”, “8. Až budem za mořem”, “9. Postni”. On the cardboard label: ”1. Die Marice rauscht /dass ist aus Jugoslavien/”, “2. Mein Liebling, glaube mir nicht – Walzer”, “3. Faschingmarsch”, “4. Der Kesselflicker gent durch die Strasse”, “5. Radeckymarsch”, “6. Du solst nicht auf mich warten – Marsch”, “7. Meine Nette, meine einzige”, “8. Bis wir hinter das Meer warden”, “9. Fasching ?”


    Barrel organ in rectangular nut wood case, varnished. The facade is closed with a removable lattice with four curtained from inside with red fabric windows. The lattice basketwork is decorated with floral ornament and four half figures of fancy women with crowns on their heads and wings instead of hands. The decor is made from various wood species in the marquetry technique over dark background. Three cast bronze onlays with foliate ornaments are beneath the lattice. They are – round rosette in the center and two elongated openwork one on the sides. An axis with nine grooves and round wooden handle that moves the barrel are on the left hand side. The knife of the stop mechanism enters one of the grooves. The bolt raises and lowers the keyframe in the operating position. The pinned barrel removable lids, bellows and two wooden handles of register sliders are on the right lateral side. Drive mechanism metal handle is on the case rear side. The top lid is hinged forward, allowing access to the pinned barrel and organ pipes. Fragments of coloured paper and pictures are preserved on the lid inner side. Paper sticker with a hand-written list of tunes in the Czech language is in the center. A cardboard label of a later origin with a typewritten list of tunes in German is pinned down near it. The lid is locked with a key. Pinned barrel for eight melodies and keyframe twenty-five key 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. 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.