martedì 10 gennaio 2017


F. 36.      Slide pitch pipe, English, first half of 19th century, made of mahogany and fir. These flutes were used to give the note to choirs; the note it gives with the slide inwards is A. The instrument has the shape of a parallelepiped with the sides measuring 45 x 50mm (1.75” x 1.95”); it is 380mm (14.95”) long while with the slide outwards it is 550mm (21.65”).

F. 42.      English pitch pipe, first half of 19th century, made of mahogany covered with leather. These flutes were used to give the note to choirs; on the slide the notes are marked from G3 to C4 with notches for the accurate tuning. The instrument, in shape of a parallelepiped, has 30mm (1.2”) sides and length of 240mm (9.45”) plus 40mm (1.55”) for the embouchure: the slide has 22mm (0.85”) side and is 224mm (8.8”) long without the handle.

H. 3.        English harmonium, for chamber music, made in London in 1903 by the manufacturer BOYD Ltd, Class 39. It is entirely made of oak wood, including the keyboard with 39 key (from F to G), but it has not the top and the original knee panel.

H. 4.        Italian little harmonium with pedals, end of 19th century, maker Dr. Graziano Tubi / Lecco, 4 octaves and 3 stops: expression, flute, and clarion; made of stained fir and ebonised rosewood.

H. 13.     Reed organ, made between the end of 19th century and the beginning of 20th century, branded: Estey Organ Co Brattleboro Lt U.S.A. These instruments were mainly used in accompaniment in Methodist chapels in replacement of pipe organs. They work as a harmonium, with metal reeds, arranged on a wind chest, that vibrate thanks to the air pumped by two pedals when released by the activation of the keys. This instrument shows ten stops and two knee panels.

H. 14.     Positive organ having on the front of the keyboard the writing: Fecit anno / 1822 and inside a title block with the writing: Michelangelo Colameo. This maker operated in Naples until mid 19th century. But the instrument shows a structure dating back to the first half of 18th century, so it is quite probable that Colameo only worked for a restoration, in fact the front with the date and the lower panel seem to have been made later. The dimensions of the bottom are: length 58cm (22.85”), height 52cm (20.45), width 43cm (16.9”); while the dimensions of the top are: length 51,5cm (20.25”), height 65cm (25.6”), width 28cm (11”). As for the top, there are two doors that, opened, show a plat-profile façade with three pyramids made of 7 + 5 + 7 pipes, belonging to the Principal stop with the biggest on the centre. The mouths are aligned in the central pyramid while they are bent, with the highest on the sides, in the lateral pyramids; they are in Roman style shape. The original keyboard is incorporated on the upper decorative wooden board of the instrument, with suspended machinery connecting to the 25-notes wind chest; on the right of the keyboard there are the brass knobs for the stops. The instrument is divided in two units; the lower containing the bellows and the upper containing the wind chest, the machinery, the keyboard, and the pipes. This instrument is with suspended mechanical transmission for the keyboard and mechanical for the activation of the stops. The wind chest of the keyboard is tracker action type with horizontal pallet pipes per note. The console can be considered integrated in the harmonic-decorative part of the instrument and is made of a keyboard with 25 keys (C1 – C3), the diatonic ones made of boxwood and the chromatic ones made of ebony with real first octave. On the right of the keyboard there is the registration board with the brass knobs that, pulled outward, activate the stops. The phonic disposal has three stops on the main wind chest and starting from the façade it is the following: Twenty-Second (1/2 foot), Twenty-Ninth, and Thirty-Third (refrain at second G#). The façade pipes are made of a lead-tin alloy in high percentage, the inner pipes has a good wire drawing of the metal plate made of lead-tin alloy in lower percentage, they are all flute pipes and they have a cylindrical shape. The bellows mechanism is arranged on the bottom and is made of two wedge-shaped bellows activated with ropes starting from the two side holes. A hole with slot can be seen at the left of the keyboard on the base of the instrument where there are the bellows and it was surely used to activate the regulation device for the air flow to the wind chest to make instrument weaker by means of the opening or the closing of a specific valve. Colameo’s signature is between the inner part of the keyboard and the tracker action. The diapason is 417 Hz, typical of Neapolitan instruments of early 19th century. The reduced dimensions lets think to a procession organ. There is a single collection of high quality music for precession organs with a two-octaves range, that is a collection of "Ricercars" by P.L. da Palestrina recently published edited by Liuwe Tamminga. In the collection, about half of the pieces are playable with a two-octaves organ.

H. 20.     Italian portative harmonium (guida voce) produced by the well-known Dott. Graziano Tubi company in Lecco during the seventh decade of 19th century and commercialised by Giovanni D’Avenia Company from Naples, piano makers from 1860, located in Via S. Sebastiano 40. Graziano Tubi (Milano 1825 – Lecco 1904) was an eclectic Lombard businessman who founded the harmonium factory with the same name in 1860 in Milan and in 1868 moved it to Lecco. In around 1870, reminding the creation of this instrument, he wrote: “The study of music and the desire to own a complete and portable keyboard instrument, brought me to create a portable harmonium applicable that’s applicable on a piano, and that creation led me to establish in Italy a harmonium factory I manage by myself, which now produces a complete instrument a day…”. The instrument is contained is the original case made of millboard and metal with a side opening to insert the insufflation pipe, measuring 215 x 265 x 515mm (8.45” x 10.45” x 20.25”). Inside the cover, there is a paper advertisement of the Tubi company production with, on the top left, the brand: DITTA / D. G. TUBI / LECCO ITALIA and on the top right the brand of the zampogna player with three sheep. The range goes from F3 to C6 and the sound is produced by the air blown in the bellows through a rubber pipe.

H. 23.     Liebmannista for organ built in the first decade of the twentieth century. This is a device that fits on the keyboard of an organ and produces the arrangements pressing the corresponding keys for to the chord that you want (major, minor, harmonic) by long levers controlled by buttons located in the upper part of the instrument. The Liebmann in Gera, most builder of pipe organs in Thuringia, patented a device (could be embedded or removable) with the name "Liebmannista". The DRGM (Deutsche Reich Gebrauchs Muster) 283302 released on June 21 1906, the indicated as: "Harmoniumspielapparat, dessen Griffbrett mit den auf die Tasten einwerkenden Druckschienen seitlich verschieb-und einstellbar ist." (Device for playing the organ with a movable keyboard, in buttons and laterally adjustable). This instrument has 39 buttons arranged in 3 rows to 13 buttons  each and 53 levers (from A 2 to C # 7). Each button marked with the codes 1 ͯ - 13 ͯ  for the first row, 1 - 13 for the second row and 1° - 13° for the third row. It is marked Liebmannista - DRGM 283302 and there is a shopkeeper's plate with the inscription: SEIT ÜBER 40 Jahren / Klavierbauer KORB; Zschopauerstr. / 129 / CHEMNITZ - SÜD; SEIT ÜBER 40 Jahren / BESTE U. BILLIGSTE BEZUGSQUELLE / FÜR FLÜGEL - PIANOS - HARMPONIUMS / REPARATUR - KAUF - TAUSCH - MIETE. It has a width of mm. 872, high mm. 60 and deep mm. 333 of which 151 for the part that rests on the keyboard and 182 for that inserted into armonium.

J. 36.       Serpent, anonymous, French, probably made between the end of 18th century and the first decades of 19th century. This is the contrabass instrument of cornetts family, made of two pieces of carved wood, attached, and covered with leather. This instrument has not keys and shows three holes at the level of the third angle and three at the level of the fourth angle. The ring nuts, the staple, and the mouthpiece (not original) are made of brass.

K. 15.      Kettledrum from Silesia (Poland on the border with Czech Republic and Germany), made during the first half of 18th century. French instruments were made of brass while German and English instruments were made of copper: the kettle is made of copper plates while the struts and the studs, in shape of fleurs-de-lis, are made of wrought iron. The leather is tightened by the hoop and the tuning bolts with squared head made of forged iron. In kettledrums of early 18th century the leather was tightened by screws (as in this instrument), arranged in regular way along the whole kettle edge, pressing the hoop around the edge. The bolts were turned with specific keys to tune the kettledrum, but this procedure turned out to be too slow, uncomfortable, and noisy, so, during the19th century, the tension bolts were made in the shape of a T, in order to be turned with the hands. Dimensions: height 580mm (22.85”), diameter 645mm (25.4”), depth of the kettle 349mm (13.75”), inside of it there is a big bell (schalltrichter) over the air vent.

M. 13.    Ratchet, Italian folk instrument, end of 18th century. This rubbed-wood instrument was used in monasteries and churches, during the Holy Week, in substitution of the bells sent to Rome to be blessed. The instrument, 210 mm (8.25”) long, is finely made of walnut with handle of pale wood (poplar?). It is branded with three R repeated on three sides of the frame supporting the tine, while on the fourth side there are four R, on two sides there is also a palm tree drawn among the R’s, this brand could indicate the origin monastery.

M. 14.    Double ratchet, instrument coming from a Belgian monastery, end of 18th century. This specimen presents a double tine and two cog-wheels mounted staggered increasing the sonority. The instrument is made of dark wood while the handle is made of a different wood that is finely turned. It is branded S C C on the frame holding the tines.

M. 15.    Ratchet from Chiesa di S. Michele (Church of St. Michael) in Montemesola (Taranto), first half of 19th century, made of two tines with a middle cog-wheel. The instrument is made of soft wood painted black with metal supports at the ends, and it is 425 x 90 mm (16.73” x 3.55”) long. This instrument was used during the Misteri Procession for the Good Friday.

M. 16.    Troccola from Chiesa di S. Michele (Church of St. Michael) in Montemesola (Taranto), datable to 1791, made of black-painted wood, with three handle per side. The typical metallic sound is produced when the troccola player (troccolante) shake the instrument making the handles beat against metal pins put in correspondence of the points where the handles hit the board. The instrument, 544 x 32 mm (21.4” x 1.25”) long, was used during the Misteri Procession for the Good Friday.

M. 30.    Votive cowbell, Sardinian, made of pale wood, with two wooden clappers and a leather lace, datable to the end of 19th century. This instrument was hung to the neck of the ill animal with, inside, a paper with a prayer and a handful of grass and soil impeding the sound, to beseech the animal’s healing. The dimensions are approximately 191 x 133 mm (7.5” x 5.25”).

M. 43.    Sardinian Cowbell made of olive wood, with ovoid shape and a simple decoration on the borders, with two clappers and a twine, datable to the end of 19th century. This is an instrument of the folk liturgy used to favour the healing of ill animals. The approximate dimensions are 302 x 141 x 71 mm (11.9” x 5.55” x 2.8”).

M. 46.    Handled board (troccola) for children, made in Taranto old town, during the first decades of 20th century, for the children who took part to Holy Week processions. This instrument is small: its length is 303mm (11.9”) and the maximum width is 131mm (5.15”); it has a single handle for every side.

M. 54.    Terracotta statuettes, folk make, representing the brethren, called perdoni, who participate to the celebrations of the Holy Week in Taranto. There are a couple of perdoni, the trono (with three brethren) and the troccolante (the brother who opens the procession playing the troccola) from the confraternity of Sorrowful Mother, with white dress, black mozzetta, and the hat on the back, black shoes with white ribbons: costume used during the Sorrowful Mother Procession. Then, there are two children carrying the pesàre, the brother with the banner, the brother who carries the cross of the mysteries, a couple of perdoni and the troccolante (these last with the hat on the head) with white dress, cream mozzetta, walking stick, rigorously barefoot, black hat with blue strip, and pinafore with the writings decor and carmeli typical of Carmel brethren during the Misteri Procession.

M. 59.    Ratchets (trozzole or trictrac), made in province of Bari during the first years of 20th century. The ratchet, probably invented by Archytas from Taranto, is a friction idiophone, the sound being produced by a cog wheel that makes a board vibrate. Generally the board is activated by a crank, but in these specimens, made for the children fallowing the processions of the Holy Week, it rotates together with the wheels. The instruments, made of fir, are 970mm (38.2”) and 1119mm (44.05”) long, they have the structure continuing in the long handle finishing with a grip to allow the wheels rotate on the ground while the board is one but with two large teeth, one for every cog wheel.

N. 3.        Shofar, Hebrew horn used for rituals and hunting (Jagdzink) that can play simple melodies. It is a natural horn with inner mouthpiece that allows to produce a number of harmonics (often depending of the ability of the player). This instrument dates back to the end of 19th century and stands out for the high quality, the elegant shape, the intense black colour, and the rather rare and precious material: gemsbok horn (a variety of gazelle imported in Europe since 1500) that denote a high quality piece. The length is 878mm (34.55”).

N. 43.     Liturgical sistrum (Tsina Tsil o Senasel) used by the priests of Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahedo Church during the Mascal festivity, while on procession around the church. This festivity honours the invention of the Cross; it is celebrated on the Maskaram, 17th, that coincides with the end of September or the beginning of October of the Julian calendar. The legend, in its form narrated in the Church, wants St. Elena, unsure where the Holy Wood was, let herself to be guided by the smoke of a bonfire lighted after ardent prayers. In memory of that, a large bonfire is lighted with wooden crosses (damarà). The instrument, made during the second half of 20th century, comes from Debre Birhan, small city in Northern Ethiopia, it is made of iron and nickel, has the handle made of horn; it is 235mm (9.25”) and 75mm (2.95”) wide. The instrument is made of a metal structure with two crossbars with three and two discs.

N. 57.     Shofar made out of a horn of a greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), datable between the end of 19th century and the beginning of 20th century, from Yemen. The shofar is used to announce the new moon and the solemn feasts as well as to proclaim the Jubilee year. It is also used in the first day of the seventh month (Tishri) to proclaim the Rosh Hashana. The horn has iridescent brown colour, it has two volutes, and is 1112mm (43.75”) long.

N. 58.     Shofar of Ashkenazim (Hebrew people with Central European origin), datable between the end of 19th century and the beginning of 20th century, made out of a ram horn. This is one of the most ancient wind instruments man knows and it is used even now, with its symbolic meaning, during sacred ceremonies of Jewish people. This horn, distinctly curved, is about 552mm (21.8”) long, and produces a strong and penetrating sound.

 N. 60.     Hokiokio, pair of ritual instruments from Papua used during courting rites. Nowadays, in the whole Hawaiian area, they are made out of small pyriform pumpkins (ipu hokiokio) with some holes for the fingers and an upper embouchure hole, like the xuns, and they are played by the two lovers with their noses producing a feeble and delicate sound. This pair of instruments is particularly precious, made of animal horn, richly decorated with geometrical and floral shapes; it is datable to the first half of 19th century. The larger end stops with a wooden closing, while the narrower is thin and constitutes the fipple where the player blows and it is closed with a wooden stopper sculpted as an anthropomorphic figure. The instrument with the male figure is 177mm (6.95”) high, 219mm (8.6”) with the stopper. The instrument with the female figure is 179mm (7.05”) high, 190mm (7.5”) with the stopper.nstrument with the female figure is 179mm (7.05”) high, 190mm (7.5”) with the stopper.

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