Barrel Organs

Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Russian Empire, Odessa


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

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

    50 x 54 x 33.5 cm

    On the keyframe: "2311" and notes' names in Latin letters; on the barrel lid "2311" and pencil handwritten inscription in Georgian; on the paper labels: handwritten list of eight tunes in Georgian. On the barrel flat end: "2312". On the facade nickel-plated bar: "Й. НЕЧАДА Балковская № 191 ОДЕССА"


    Barrel organ in rectangular wooden veneered case on the pedestal with corner feet, reinforced with brass chrome plated onlays. The facade is closed with a removable panel with three arched windows; the central one is wide, lateral windows are narrow. Inserts with painted images of dancers are in the lateral windows. The painted image of red and purple flowers is in the bottom part of the central window. Eleven decorative metal piccolo pipes are in the window open upper part. Black curved plugs close the pipes. An inscription "НЕЧАДА Балковская No 191 ОДЕССА” and two convex round metal plaques are below. The panel and the pedestal front side with two imperial coins are decorated with foliate ornaments in the marquetry technique. The case lateral sides and the pedestal are decorated with compositional frames made various wood breeds veneer. The barrel axis with eight grooves according to the number of tunes is on the case left side. A plunger pin and a crank, which raises and lowers the keyframe to in the operating position is above it. A removable barrel lid and six slider’s handles are on the right lateral side. Two staples with a carrying strap with crossed embroidered multicoloured ribbons and bows are on both lateral sides. The stop mechanism parts and staples are chrome plated. A curved metal crank of the mechanism drive are on the rear side. Two hinged lids are above. The back one opens access to the pinned barrel levers; the front one – to the pinned barrel and to the keyframe with twenty-five keys according to the number of basic tones. The illegible blank, glued by two, one on top of the other blanks, with handwritten lists of melodies in Georgian is on the back lid inner side. 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.
    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 distributing the compressed air between the slotted reeds serving as the sound source. The pins and backets on the barrel raise the keys, which open the corresponding valves and a melody sounds. Music media: pinned barrel.