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MMD > Archives > June 1997 > 1997.06.01 > 08Prev  Next


Miniature Barrel Pianos
By Richard Moody

A client (of Kimball South Dakota) has a small "table top model" barrel
piano.  He is a new collector and knows little about it.  I have only
seen the full sized traditional ones and that was over 20 years ago.

The names on the inside say "Vincente Llinares"  and "Faventia".  The
operating and tuning instructions are in English, the importer is
"Embassy Publishing & Trading Co. NY NY.  It appears to have been made
in the 60's as there are clear plastic "arms" that the wires the hammers
are on are stuck into.  Sorry about the nomenclature, I have forgotten
the names of parts.  Is clavis rack a barrel piano term?

There are 25 notes, 5 or 7 bass notes, a block (double beater) and
triangle. Makes quite a racket. I had to tune it by matching pitch.
I tuned it 1/2 step low as some of the notes were as much as 6 half
steps flat!.  We will find out how it holds but I think it was mis-tuned,
or the t pins were tested and the notes not tuned back.  The tuning
pins were piano size but small.  It plays 6 tunes.  I didn't write them
down but 3 had familiar melodies.

I just got out of the archives, but found only two mentions of a barrel
piano. However in Joyce Brite's www "market" site, I found two items
relating to the Faventia name.

Anyhow I was hoping some one has been working on them more recently than
I and could post some technical details, like a warning about the spring,
(the table top model has none) adjusting the hammers so they don't
blubber, (appears in the tt model can only be done by bending the
wires), some terminology, like what the pins are called that the pins
on the barrel activate, and things you forget like the cap to let the
roller carriage out pops out easier from the top than the center because
of the two holding pins on the bottom.

There is a very complete tuning scheme on the inside of this instrument
if any one is interested.

My client is not on the Internet so I am posting for him.  He also has
a couple of gem roller organs, and is interested in "horse trading" as
they call it here in the mid-west. Of course he wants to know what he
can sell it for.  Now if I can just get him interested in a nickleodean...
or orchesterion...

Richard Moody   Piano Tuner Technician, Platte SD


(Message sent Sun 1 Jun 1997, 01:38:54 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Barrel, Miniature, Pianos

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