Barrel Organs

Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Portable organ (barrel organ)

    Russian Empire, Odessa


    I.Nechada organs and orchestrions factory

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

    58 x 60 x 38 cm

    On the pedestal facade: "НЕЧАДА Балковская № 191 ОДЕССА"


    Barrel organ in rectangular wooden veneered case on the pedestal with corner feet, reinforced with brass nickel-plated onlays. A removable panel with three arched windows covers the facade. The central window is wide; two lateral ones are narrow. The inserts with painted images of dancers with multi coloured ribbons are in the lateral windows. A painted image of two birds surrounded by daisies is on the bottom part of the central window. The window upper part reveals a view of fourteen metal piccolo pipes with black ornately shaped plugs and ornated with multi-colour glass pendants with orange ribbon. The inscription “НЕЧАДА Балковская No 191 ОДЕССА” is below. All sides of the case and pedestal are decorated with floral ornament, images of cherubs with musical instruments and genre scenes, made in the 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. Metal parts are chrome-plated. A removable barrel lid and six slider’s handles with multi coloured ribbons are on the right lateral side. Two staples with a carrying strap with the wrestler’s images are on both lateral sides. The strap is made from a modern officer’s belt. An image of a girl with two lambs, standing near the fence and curly metal handle of the drive mechanism are on the case rear side. Two folding hinged lids with the image of cherubs surrounded by branches flowers are on the top side. The back one opens access to the pinned barrel and wind chest with twenty-six keys according to the number of basic tunes; the front one – 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.