Barrel Organs

Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Russian Empire, Odessa


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

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

    56 x 51 x 34.5 cm

    On the case front side: “НЕЧАДА Балковская № 191 ОДЕССА”. On the keyframe: “601”, on the barrel lid: “1676”


    Barrel organ in wooden veneered case, on the pedestal with curved feet, with nickel onlays on the side ribs and floral ornament with an image of musicians with wind instruments in the marquetry technique on the front side. The lateral and rear case sides are decorated with triple compound frames. The facade with the compound frame is closed with a removable panel with images of musicians with string instruments, dancing pairs, floral ornament in the marquetry technique and four windows with the painted images on the metal lattice over green background: dancers with ribbons in vertical windows, images of tulips, lilies of the valley and forget-me-nots - in the upper horizontal window, two birds surrounded by flowers - in the bottom one. The inscription is under the panel: “НЕЧАДА Балковская No 191 ОДЕССА”. The staples and a carrying strap are on the lateral sides. The pinned barrel lid with an aperture for the axis and two register sliders’ tips with apertures is on the right side. A crank in the form of an anchor, lifting and lowering the keyframe in the operating position is on the right side. The knife and bolt mechanism is beneath. Two black lids with hook locks are on the top panel covered with a coloured mat with a fringe. A set of wooden flue pipes is under the front lid. The pinned barrel for eight tunes and the keyframe with number “601”, notes’ names and twenty-two keys, according to the number of tune 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 tune. An image of a girl with two lambs framed by floral ornament standing in front of the fence, and metal crank with wooden handle are on the 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 the valves. Pins and bridges raise the keys that open the valves of the corresponding pipes; the air from the wind chest enters the windpipes and make them sound. Music media: pinned barrel.