Barrel Organs

Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Western Europe

    Second half of the 19th century

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

    58 x 60 x 38 cm

    Handwritten notes' names on the keyframe


    Barrel organ in rectangular wooden veneered case on the pedestal with curved corner feet, reinforced with brass onlays on the side ribs and images of images of Pegasus, leaves and flowers in the marquetry technique. Facade is closed with a removable panel with foliate ornament in the marquetry technique and three windows with the painted images of on the metal lattice of later origin.  Dancers with ribbons on blue background are depicted in the vertical windows; bunches of grapes, flowers and leaves – are in the central one. Triple compiled frames in the marquetry technique are on the lateral sides. Pinned barrel lid with an aperture for the axis and three register sliders’ pins are on the right hand side. A crank in the form of an anchor that lifts and lowers the keyframe in the operating position is on the left hand side. The knife and bolt mechanism is below. Two lids with hook locks are on the top panel. Sets of violin pipes, trumpet pipes and flue pipes are under the front lid. The pinned barrel for eight melodies and keyframe with notes’ names and thirty-three keys according to the number of basic tunes are under the back lid. With the keyframe raised, the barrel can be moved along the axis and set to one of eight fixed positions according to the selected melody. A triple 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.