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MMD > Archives > August 2006 > 2006.08.11 > 01Prev  Next

Mirecourt Barrel Organ in Israel
By Francoise Dussour

Thanks for your mail and pictures.  This barrel (not roller) organ is
typical from the French production in Mirecourt in Lorraine (east of
France near Nancy).

It is not an "orgue de barbarie"; the technology is the same -- barrel,
keys, handle and pipes -- but the use was different.  This sort of
barrel organ was used only in the nobility, gentry and later in the
middle-class, to dance at home or to listen to music pieces in a music

The music programme (Vaudeville, operette quadrille, Valse, Contredanse),
formerly pasted inside, on the lid, the organ maker on each barrel.
"63 Gautschi" is unknown, perhaps the name of the owner and 63 the No.
of this instrument.  You are lucky because all the tin pipes seem to be
in good condition.

The date of your instrument is nearby 1880.  For example, at this date
in the catalogue of Poirot freres, (often Poirot freres had blue paper
on these barrels, but he was not alone!) you can read:

  Little barrel organ with handle, and tin pipes:

  -- No. 13, 17 keys, varnished walnut, 3 stops, sold with 2 original
  barrels (10 tunes each)

But later you can buy other barrels !

  -- No. 14  The same in mahogany or palissander (but here no price).

For example at this date, a similar barrel organ was sold for 110 gold
francs by the organ maker.  Good luck for the change!

If you want further explanations write to me please, and if you have
other French barrel organs of this type I am very happy to help you for
the comments or explanations.  It was my job!

Best regards from France
Fr. Dussour

(Message sent Fri 11 Aug 2006, 11:41:13 GMT, from time zone GMT+0200.)

Key Words in Subject:  Barrel, Israel, Mirecourt, Organ

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