Barrel Organs

Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Russian Empire, Odessa

    1909 -1917

    Organs and orchestrions factory of I.Nechada

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

    58 х 60 х 38 см

    On the keyframe: "1717" and note names in Latin letters; on the top lid: "КАХЕТ. ВИНО"; 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 onlays. Front vertical ribs are with narrow chrome brackets. A removable panel with three arched windows closes the facade. The central window is wide; two side ones are narrow. Inserts with the painted images of dancers with blue ribbons are in the side windows. Painted images of a bird in motley plumage and flowers are in the central window bottom part. Fourteen metal piccolo pipes closed with black cover plugs are in its open top part. Inserts with round metal decorative pads with coloured glass are between the windows. The inscription “НЕЧАДА Балковская № 191 ОДЕССА” is below. All case sides and pedestal, including the panel, are decorated with floral ornament, images of Cherubs with musical instruments and genre scenes, made in the marquetry technique. The pinned barrel axis with eight grooves according to the number of melodies is on the left side. Pinned barrel stop mechanism and a crank, which raises and lowers the key frame in the operating position are above it. The pinned barrel removable lid and six register sliders’ levers are on the right side. The images of wrestlers in the marquetry technique and two staples with carrying strap are on both lateral sides. The image of two pairs of wrestlers ready for battle, and curved metal handle for the mechanism activating are on the case rear side. Two hinged lids with the images of grapevine and wine bottles are on the top side. The back one opens access to the pinned barrel and the key frame with twenty-six keys according to the number of tunes. The front one opens access to the organ pipes.
    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. The barrel organ is covered by the rug with fringe.