Barrel Organs

Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Russian Empire, Odessa


    Organs and orchestrions factory of I.Nechada

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

    56 x 51 x 34.5 cm

    On the case front side: “НЕЧАДА Балковская № 191 ОДЕССА”. On the keyframe: “1538”, on the barrel lid: “1676”. On one blank: “Программа № 1723”, “...3 Ольга” “4 Еврейская “Хаве”, on the second blank: “№1 Полька”, “2 Еврейская Хилемъ”, “3... Срилинъ”


    Barrel organ in wooden veneered case, on a pedestal with ornately shaped feet, with nickel-plated onlays on the side ribs and floral ornament with the image of a dancing girl with a tambourine in marquetry technique. The case sides are decorated with images of wrestlers in the compositional frames. The facade with compositional frames and floral ornament is covered with a removable panel with ornament in marquetry technique and four windows. The painted images of dancers with ribbons over green background are in the vertical windows; a bright bird on a branch with roses over gray-blue background is in the horizontal one. Below is an inscription “НЕЧАДА Балковская No 191 ОДЕССА”. Fourteen metal piccolo pipes with black plugs are in the open window. Staples and a carrying strap, interleaved with ribbons of various colours, images of wrestlers in the marquetry technique are on the lateral sides. The pinned barrel lid with an aperture for the axis and three slider’s tips – one of them with a tassel, 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 left side. The pinned barrel knife and bolt mechanism is below. Two lids with hook locks with the image of with images of two fancy birds and a flowerpot with flowers between them in a framed frame, embroidered with a flower garland are on the top panel. A set of wooden flue pipes is under the front lid. Pinned barrel for eight melodies with the inscription in Georgian “Kako” and a keyframe with the number "1538", notes names and twenty-six keys, according to the number of basic tunes are under the back lid. Two damaged company blanks with the list of tunes are 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. An image of a flowerpot and two fancy birds framed by floral ornament, and a metal crank with a 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 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.