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

    58 x 60 x 38 cm

    On the case front side: “Р.П. Бешкенадзе”, “НЕЧАДА Балковская № 191 ОДЕССА”. On the keyframe: “2100”; on the sticker: list of tunes in Georgian


    Barrel organ in rectangular wooden veneered case on the pedestal with ornately shaped feet, reinforced with brass onlays on the side ribs. All sides of the case and pedestal are decorated with floral ornament, images of cherubs with musical instruments and genre scenes in floral frames, with foliate ornamentation made in the marquetry technique and coloured glass onlays. Façade with four windows is decorated with ornamentation. Painted images of dancers with ribbons are in the vertical windows, two birds surrounded by flowers over green background are in the horizontal one. The inscription “Р.П. Бешкенадзе" is above. Fourteen metal piccolo pipes with black plugs, decorated with red ribbon and two tassels of gray colour are in the open window. The inscription“НЕЧАДА Балковская No 191 ОДЕССА”  is below. 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 six slider’s tips with ribbons of different colours are on the right side. A crank in the form of an anchor, lifting and lowering the keyframe in the operating position are on the left side. The pinned barrel knife and bolt mechanism is below. Two black lids with hook locks, featuring two cherubs with musical instruments in floral frame are on the top panel. A sticker with a numbered list of melodies and an inscription in Georgian on the right side are on the back lid inner side. A set of flue wooden pipes is under the front lid. Pinned barrel for eight tunes and a keyframe with the number "2100", notes' names on paper sticker and twenty-six keys, according to the number of basic tunes, are under the back lid. 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. Image of two women in national clothes framed by floral ornament with dishes on which wine bottles stand, with metal crank with 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.