Barrel Organs

Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Russian Empire, Odessa

    1909 -1917 - organ; the 1930-1950 - pinned barrel

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

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

    56.5 x 37 x 58 cm

    On the keyframe: "1453" and notes names in Latin. On the top lid: "КАХЕТ. ВИНО."; on the paper label handwritten list of eight tunes in Georgian. On the pinned barrel: hand written inscription in Georgian. Pencil inscription in Georgian near the label. On the pedestal facade: "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 with ribbons are in the lateral windows. Painted image of a bird and flowers is in the bottom part of the central window. Fourteen metal piccolo pipes covered with black plugs are in the window open upper part. Below is an inscription НЕЧАДА Балковская № 191 ОДЕССА” and round metal decorative onlays with coloured glass inserts. All case sides and the pedestal, including the panel, are decorated with floral ornament, images of cherubs with musical instruments and genre scenes, made in marquetry technique. 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 the wrestler’s images are on both lateral sides. An image of a girl with two lambs near the fence and a curved metal crank of the mechanism drive are on the rear side. Two hinged lids with the images of grapevine and wine bottles are above. The back one opens access to the pinned barrel and wind chest with twenty-six keys according to the number of basic tones; the front one – to the pipes. A handwritten list of tunes in Georgian is on the 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 brackets on the barrel raise the keys, which open the corresponding valves and a melody sounds. Music media: pinned barrel.