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A circa 1780-1800 extremely rare and superb quality Barrel Organ in a crossbanded Mahogany case . This would have been made for the very privileged in society, possibly for a Royal Household.

The organ was made with five rolls, as can be shown, because the original hand written tune sheet (pictured), is numbered one to five.. each roll is around 2 feet long and plays ten airs. All rolls are present and fit in individual cradles behind the side door . The bellows are in good order..

We have just found within the case another score sheet with the name of  H.METCALF SURRY SQUARE KENT ROAD LONDON on it (see pictures in listing) ,and to the reverse, a hand written receipt presumably given to Mr Metcalf on his purchase of the organ. The organ was probably built for him with the tunes of his choice, and a deposit taken until the organ was finished.  Another theory is that the organ was acquired second hand by him from a dealer., or an aquaintance ,  In any case this is a rarity to have a contemporary account of who the purchaser of the organ was all of those years ago, and where he lived and how much he paid 

The Gentleman's magazine (Google) of 1822 ,records Mr H .Metcalfe as living at Number 78 Surrey Square and was aged 82 at that time . It is inconceivable that this 82 years old Gentleman would be buying an organ at this advance age, and so i believe that this helps to date the organ. The possibility is that the organ was made in around 1780, and that Mr Metcalfe probably bought it new at that time...however, it is equally likely, bearing in mind the style of writing on the score sheets etc,(using an f for s ) that the organ was not new,when he bought it,  and that the organ dates from much earlier . I much prefer this theory as the organ seems a bit grand for even a prominent London house, .we shall probably never know...But a cast iron provenance going back to the late 1700's is a rarity in itself.

A Video of the organ actually working can be seen on YouTube by using this link:

or by searching for 18th Century chamber Barrel Organ

(the sound is a little distorted but this is due to the microphone on my recording device being a little worse for wear but it will give you an insight into it’s working mechanism)

Georgian Barrel Organ with Five 24” Music Barrels and Song sheet SOLD

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