Barrel Organ
Private residence

Builder unknown

This English barrel organ was purchased in Victoria and had been brought from the United Kingdom in recent years. Its maker is unknown, but the shield in the front filled with 15 gilt dummy pipes (originally backed in green silk) resembles other barrel organs built by James Davis. The casework is of richly figured mahogany with boxwood stringing and of the best 'London' quality. It had four ranks of pipework (8, 4, 2-2/3, 2) operating from 16 notes. It appears to be an early instrument and could date from around 1800 if not beforehand.

The oak slider chest and rackboard, cranking mechanism, bellows and tune list survive, but regrettably only one pipe survives out of the original 64. There were originally four barrels each of 10 tunes and the tune list survives on the inside of the side door in the case. These too have been discarded. The base of the instrument forms a cabinet for the barrels. The owner is considering having the missing material reconstructed.

Photos: JRM