Restoration of a barrel organ by Gebr. Bruder from around 1885, in private ownership.

The barrel organ played by two ‘savoyards’ about 1909

The barrel organ was in very poor condition after many years under unfortunate storage conditions. The owner wanted it put into playable and presentable condition, despite the fact that this extensive work risked erasing some traces of tools, wear and other original details. This risk did not give rise to any concerns in this case, as a number of other barrel organs by Gebr. Bruder are preserved, and since the barrel organ had otherwise been discarded.

The work included among other things

  • replacement of the parts of the wood that was heavily damaged by woodworm
  • filling and retouching wormholes that did not threaten the stability of the wood
  • replacing missing parts of the front intarsia
  • total replacement of the stiff and leaky leather of the bellows
  • partial replacement of valve leather in bellows and wind chest
  • replacement of defective valve springs
  • review of all pipes with regard to tightness, stability and sound; a few pipes opened and adjusted at the mouthpiece and edge
  • replacement of the rusted and stuck iron screws for adjusting the mechanics by new adjusting screws of brass
  • new adjustment of the mechanics, taking into account that the dimensions of the wooden parts had changed over time due to storage under very dry circumstances
  • Staining and shellac polishing of the outer surfaces

Before restoration

The following pictures illustrate the deplorable condition of the barrel organ before the restoration.

Front view

Back view

The broken off upper part, seen from the back

Extensive woodworm damages everywhere

Back view of the windchest

Some of the wooden bass pipes were heavily damaged

After restoration

The bellows furnished with new leather

Front view of the fully restored barrel organ

For practical use, the barrel organ was mounted on the lower part of an antique baby carriage

Hear the barrel organ play a Rheinlander Polka