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

    57 x 50 x 33 cm

    On the pedestal facade: "НЕЧАДА Балковская № 191 ОДЕССА". On the keyframe - notes names in Latin letters; on the top lid: "КАХЕТ. ВИНО", on the blank: "И.НЕЧАДА, въ ОДЕССҌ" and images of lyres in circumferences; on the paper label: handwritten list of eight tunes in Georgian


    Barrel reed organ in rectangular wooden veneered case on the pedestal with corner feet, reinforced with chrome plated onlays. A removable panel with three arched windows covers the facade. The middle 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 flowers is in the bottom part of the central window. The window upper part reveals a view of twelve decorative metal piccolo pipes with black ornately shaped plugs. The inscription is below “НЕЧАДА Балковская No 191 ОДЕССА”. All sides of the case 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 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 is on the right lateral side. Two staples with a carrying strap and wrestler’s images are on both lateral sides. Stop mechanism details and staples are chrome plated. An image of a girl with two lambs, standing near the fence and the arbour for the crank fixing are on the case rear side. Two folding hinged lids with the image of four wine bottles. 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 valves levers. A damaged blank with a list of tunes in Russian, fixed by two, one on top of the other, handwritten lists of tunes in Georgian is on the back 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.