Barrel Organs

Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Russian Empire, Odessa


    I.Nechada organs and orchestrions factory

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

    56 x 51 x 36 cm

    On the case front side: “НЕЧАДА Балковская № 191 ОДЕССА”. On the keyframe: “1615”, on the bottles: "КА", "В.И"


    Barrel organ in rectangular wooden veneered case on the pedestal with ornately shaped corner feet and curved onlays on the side ribs. All case sides and pedestal are decorated with images of cherubs with musical instruments, genre scenes in the combined frames, floral ornament in marquetry technique and colour glass onlays. The facade with metal corners on the side edges is closed with a removable panel with ornamentation and four windows in the frames made of beads. The painted images of slender dancers with ribbons over green background are in the vertical windows, two birds surrounded by flowers over green background are in the bottom horizontal window. The insert with floral ornament is above. Fourteen metal piccolo pipes with black plugs over green background with daisies, blue ribbon and multicoloured glass pendants are upper window. Black curved plugs close the pipes. Below is the inscription “НЕЧАДА Балковская No 191 ОДЕССА”. It is placed between two metal onlays with blue cabochons. Two staples, carrying strap and images of wrestlers in the marquetry technique are on the lateral sides. Coloured ribbons enlace the strap. The pinned barrel lid with an aperture for the axis and six register sliders’ tips with coloured ribbons 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 lids with hook locks, covered with self-adhesive film imitating wood are on the top panel. A set of flue wooden pipes is under the front lid. A pinned barrel for eight tunes and a keyframe with the number "1615", notes’ names and twenty-six keys, according to the number of basic tunes. With the keyframe raised, the barrel is set in one of eight positions according to the selected melody. An image of two women in national costumes with trays of wine bottles, covered with tapestry cloth on ribbons, and metal crank with wooden handle are on the rear panel. 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. The pins and brackets on the barrel raise the keys, which open the corresponding valves and a melody sounds. The barrel organ is mounted on a handmade cart, made of metal brackets, with carrying handles, on flexible supports, is covered with panels with stickers: a landscape with deer on the front side and still life on the lateral sides. The barrel organ body is capped with a rug - a decorative pillowcase with a zipper, with an image of horses. Music media: pinned barrel.