martedì 10 gennaio 2017


B. 23.B. 23.     Italian ¾ violin, having the tag: A. MONZINO & FIGLI / Milano – via Rastrelli, 10 / PREMIATA LIUTERIA ARTISTICA. In addition to the tag, there is an ink writing: ANTONIUS STRADIVARIUS CRAEMONENSIS / FACIEBAT ANNO 17 and the symbol with two concentric circles, the cross and the letters A S. The instrument has a belly made of fir, back and ribs made of maple with fiddleback and, under the ebonised fingerboard, a planking measuring about one millimetre. Total length 571mm (22.5”), width of upper bout 155mm (6.1), width of lower bout 191mm (7.5).


B. 27.     Three-stringed sonometer dating back to the first decade of 20th century. The sonometer is an instrument that determines the pitch of a sound, that is the number of its vibrations. It uses the property that the number of vibrations of a tensed string, if the tension doesn’t vary, has inverse ratio than its length. The sonometer consists of a wooden rectangular box that has, at its ends, two fixed bridges on which the strings lie. These are fastened to one end with some screw machineries and to the other end with some springs. If we want to limit the vibrating part of the string, we can press it on a third bridge that slides at our choosing along the instrument. We can read the length of the vibrating part on a scale drawn along the string. This instrument is 63mm (2.5”) wide, 850mm (33.45”) long, diapason 61mm (2.4”). On the sound board there are four circular holes and the scale with the caption: L. E. Knott Apparatus Co. / Boston, Mass. while on the back there is a ruined title block where you can read: SONOMETER NO. 53 – 11 / L. E. Knott Apparatus Co. / CAMBRIDGE, Mass.


B. 31.     Ochydactyl, instrument used by musician and typists to improve the agility and the stretching apart of the fingers, datable to early 20th century. It is made of five slots for the fingers continuing on long levers connected to some springs that could be arranged on several positions, letting to set the “strength”. The whole structure is made of metal and is 110mm (4.35”) long, 165mm (6.5”) broad, and 110mm (4.35”) wide, while the levers are 265mm (10.45”) long.


B. 32.     Anonymous bowed psaltery probably made during the first half of 20th century. It is a variation of the psaltery; in this variation the sound is realised by rubbing the metal strings with a small bow. The possibility to easily play the strings of the diatonic sounds as well as the strings of the accidental sounds causes the instrument to have to be in a triangular shape. It is an isosceles triangle with harmonic-steel strings arranged perpendicularly on the shorter side, rubbed by a bow. On the right side there are the natural notes and on the left side the accidental notes. The peculiarity of this instrument is due to its sound, rich of harmonics and resonances. The dimensions of the long sides are 585mm (23.05”) while the base is 195mm (7.65”). It has a short bow and 26 strings with a range from F4 to G5.


F. 7.        Flageolets made of celluloid by Charles Ullmann between 1890 and 1895. The first, with quadrangular section (but cylindrical base), is 223mm (8.75”) long with 6 holes and decorations made of false tortoiseshell, is branded: Atlas / five-pointed star U five-pointed star / Paris / deposee and on the back: n* 2299 / SOL / G. The second, cylindrical, with six front holes, is 251mm (9.9”) long, branded: Atlas / five-pointed star U five-pointed star / Paris / deposee and on the back: n* 2290 / FA / F.


F. 33.      Flautino, probably Campanian, datable to the first half of 19th century. The instrument, with a very high pitch, presents four front holes and a back hole, a wooden fipple and the length of 108mm (4.25”).


F. 41.      Recorder with close barrel, datable between the end of 18th century and the beginning of 19th century, anonymous, made of ivory with five holes (two front holes, one back hole, and two side holes), scale: G, A, B, D, E, G. The instrument is 75mm (2.95”) long, 47mm (1.85”) wide, and shows a little pin at the foot.


F. 43.      French flageolet d’oiseau, anonymous, datable to the second half of 18th century, made of ivory in the shape of a branch with beak, foot, and knots coloured brown. It is an instrument with four front holes and two back holes for the thumbs. The invention of this instrument is attributed to Charles Burney, in Juvigny Sieur de Paris, who played it for Ballet Comique de la Reine. The instrument has been described and illustrated by Marin Mersenne (1588 - 1648) in his Harmonie Universelle in 1636 (fifth book "woodwinds A"). The first found flageolet method is Thomas Saluto’s “The Pleasant Companion: or New Lessons and Instructions for the Flagelet”. It was used also for 17th century art music, for example in an instrumental overture for two flageolets in Abelle orathory by Pietro Torri, in Brussels in 1695. The flageolet d’oiseau was later used in 18th century by Vivaldi, Handel, and Gluck.


F. 45.      Anonymous flautino, stained wood, six front holes and with a small slit at the side of the lip of the box. The profile wave (Wellenprofil) specifically recalls the tools of the school of Nuremberg late 600 / early 700. The instrument is high mm. 118.


F. 50.      Italian Cucù, anonymous, probably Tuscan, built in the mid-nineteenth century. The instrument is ivory, with two side holes that allows you to vary the note from B to C and A# and a labium with a wooden wedge. The cuckoo measures mm. 75 and has a vaguely truncated cone shape.


F. 51.      French flageolet (flageolet d'oiseau), anonymous, dating from the first half of the eighteenth century, ivory body and head and foot in black horn. It is a tool with only three holes at the front and two holes at the back for thumbs, the total length of mm. 112 and A is the lower note. Its name derives from the particularly sweet and acute sounds it emits, similar to a bird's song: it is the smallest size of the flageolets. The instrument is contained in a cardboard case painted red.


F. 52.      Soprano recorders (five) dating from the 80s of the twentieth century. The first is marked Bontempi, is made of black shockproof plastic with 3 white rings. It is in three pieces for a length of mm. 327, has the baroque fingering with the two lower double holes and an extension of 28 notes (DO-RE). Bontempi was an Italian musical instruments company, founded in 1937 in Potenza Picena (MC) and with another factory in Martinsicuro, closed down in 2014. The second is anonymous, in ivory color plastic, in two pieces, German fingering with the two lower double holes. The third is made of brown varnished wood from the Venus series marketed by Meinel and Herold. It is in two pieces, German fingering with the two lower double holes. Meinel & Herold was founded in Klingenthal (Germany) in 1893. Later, in addition to the production of accordions, the factory switched to the production and trade of musical instruments of all kinds and soon became one of the largest commercial companies in and around Klingenthal. The fourth is an instrument made in Italy, two pieces in ivory coloured plastic, from the HIMALAYA series by EKO, German fingering with two double lower holes and rear knurling for the thumb. The fifth is made in ivory color plastic, in two pieces, German fingering with the two lower double holes. It is branded KOKKO at the front and at the back 12 / made in Japan / PAT. P.


H. 24.     Cordophon, a device invented, patented and built by Max Schlittenbauer (1801/1892) destined, in the spirit of the inventor, to intone stringed instruments without the help of the ear! It is based on the sympathetic resonance phenomenon. It is a parallelepiped, mm long. 464 with short sides of mm. 16 x 26 with a steel rope fixed on a nut at each end of the ruler and a keyboard about half the length of the rope. It mounts 12 divisions that allow you to hear, in addition to the sound of the vibrating string as a whole, the twelve degrees of the chromatic scale. A metal cursor slides over the cord and interrupts the desired length by pressing one of the metal keys on the keyboard. A small metal disk, pierced in the center, is inserted on the rope. The chordophone is placed on the soundboard of an instrument and, by vibrating a string, the metal washer moves as soon as we approach the desired note reaching its maximum movement when the pitch is optimal, to gradually return to the state of rest when unison is exceeded. To tune without ear, as the inventor promises, the most difficult point of the operation is to note the moment when the disc has reached its maximum movement. On the instrument there is the wording. CORDOPHON Patent Schlittenbauer and, from one side of the keyboard the numbers from 0 to 12 and in correspondence, on the other side, the words f, fis, g, gis, a, b, h, c, cis, d, dis, e , f.


J. 91.      Saxie, produced in Paris by the Couesnon in 1924. It measures about mm. 629 of length excluding the mouthpiece of sopranino sax. The inventor and custodian of the patent was Frederick B. Hammam of Baltimore who filed the patent on June 3, 1924. Couesnon bought the rights for Europe and produced it under the name of Saxie, marketing it at the end of that year. The instrument needs a special fingering in order to be played with acceptable intonation. It has six open holes and only two keys: one, lateral, for the fa #, and one tone hole. On the bell there is engraved: COUESNON & CIE / PARIS / CHATEAU - THIERRY / FRANCE / = SAXIE = / U-S-PATENT JUNE 3Rd 1924 / - BTE S.G.D.G. -. This instrument, in C and a descendant to B, is in non-lacquered brass and has two large vent holes at the end of the body. Auguste Guichard began producing musical instruments with 210 workers while his brother-in-law Pierre Gautrot produced instruments but at home. Yet it is the latter who will buy Guichard in 1845 and will transform the company in an increasingly industrial way. In 1855 he moved his factory to Château - Thierry on the banks of the Marne. In 1865, Jean Baptiste Couesnon went to work at Gautrot. His brother, Félix Couesnon, his sales agent, proposes and obtains from Gautrot the privilege of managing his interests. In 1881 the Paris office was created and the Triebert and Tulou factories were purchased on the advice of Félix Couesnon. Felix's son, Amédée Couesnon, marries Gautrot's daughter. In 1882, after the death of Pierre Gautrot, Amédée took over the company (which his wife inherited) and named the company Couesnon et Cie choosing the Euterpe muse as a symbol of society.


K. 14.      Little celesta (celestino, glockenspiel) from Germany, made at the beginning of 20th century. The celesta is an idiophone instrument, that is producing the sound from the material it is composed, without tighten parts: in this case, it’s a percussion instrument, in appearance similar to a little piano. The sound, with a peculiar timbre similar to a music box, is produced by some metal cups suspended and struck by a system of little hammers controlled with a keyboard similar to the keyboard of a piano. The sonority it can produce is soft, muffled in lower notes, bright in middle notes, and brilliant in higher notes. Made and patented in 1886 by the French Auguste Mustel, the celesta was played for the first time in the musical world for the ballet The Nutcracker, by Pëtr Il'ič Čajkovskij, in “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”. This instrument is 300mm (11.8”) high, 460mm (18.1”) broad, and 271mm (10.65”) wide at the level of the keyboard; it presents 25 keys (from A4 to E6) even if the outer keys does not produce any sound.


L. 13.      Mouth accordion, reed wind instrument made in Germany at the beginning of 20th century. It has a trumpet embouchure and a parallelepipedic body (224 x 99 x 57 mm – 8.8” x 3.9” x 2.25”) made of wood covered with celluloid on which there are ten melody buttons on the right and two bass keys on the left. The buttons open same holes on the wind chest that allow the reeds to vibrate.


L. 14.      Hohner-sax, sax-like instrument working like a harmonica. The air is conducted into the body of the instrument that presents twelve keys (10 + 2) corresponding to twelve notes emitted by metal reeds. This instrument has been made in Germany by Hohner during the first half of 20th century.


L. 15.      Trumpet-harmonica with eight buttons, in two brass pieces and the mouthpiece, probably French and datable to the second half of 19th century. The instrument, in shape of a trumpet, presents eight buttons connected to as many metal reeds that, playing like an accordion, produce a scale from C5 to C6. The instrument is 424mm (16.7”) long.


L. 16.      Trombone-harmonica, French, made during the first decades of 20th century, on the bell there is the label of the vendor: MUSIQUE / P. VANDERVILLE / DOUAI. The instrument with closed slide is 536mm (21.1”) long; with open slide it is 672mm (26.45”) long. Inside of the slide there are eight metal reeds that, according to the position, produce eight different notes.


L. 17.      Sax-harmonica, 1930s toy made of golden metal, about 320mm (12.6”) high, in the shape of a saxophone with a cup mouthpiece and six buttons. The buttons conduct the air to six metal reeds producing the notes (B, C, D, E, F#, G).


L. 18.      Flute-harmonica, German toy made during the first years of 20th century. The instrument is made of a wooden parallelepiped and a little side keyboard with ten round keys made of mother of pearl controlling the external metal pallets. The sound is produced by single metal reeds. The body has these dimensions: 32 x 79 x 226 mm (1.25” x 3.1” x 8.9”); the keyboard is 196mm (7.7”) long, there is an embouchure and an end made of ebonised wood with a total length of 134mm (5.25”). On the side there is the writing: Mein – Stolz.


L. 27.      Diatonic Harmonicas with four holes and eight notes, cut in C major for an extension of one octave, three instruments. Two instruments are from the Little Lady series built in Germany and one from the OK Golden Cup series built in China. These instruments have a pear wood structure painted black, have eight brass reeds of mm. 0.9 and have a stainless steel coating on which is engraved LITTLE LADY / MADE IN / GERMANY while the Chinese one is painted cobalt blue and has the inscription: image of cup / OK / Golden Cup. The dimensions are very small, 37 x 15 x 12 mm and in fact, on December 16, 1965, the HOHNER Little Lady became the first musical instrument in history to be played in space. Walter Schirra, commander aboard Gemini 6, surprised Mission Control with the Christmas melody "Jingle Bells" played with the small harmonica he had brought aboard: Schirra played the harmonica, while Stafford played the bells. It was the first musical interlude from space. The two astronauts had prepared for the performance by attaching dental floss and Velcro to the instruments so that they could be hung on the wall of the spacecraft when not in use. Stafford and Schirra donated the instruments to the National Air and Space Museum in 1967. They are on display in the Apollo to the Moon exhibition at the Museum in Washington, DC. Hohner built these instruments in Germany until 1980 and then relocated production to his factory in China. Currently they are produced in ABS of modest quality and often used as key rings.


L. 30.      Chromatic piano accordion, model 'Ridotto' built around 1948 in Stradella (PV). There are seventeen singing keys and 6 buttons for bass arranged in 2 rows with Stradella bass mechanism. 6-fold cardboard mantle, fitted with metal corner guards. The cases are entirely covered in green celluloid. The singing keys are made of wood covered with white and black plastic. Bass buttons of white plastic. The moulded aluminium valve cover makes the dust net visible. The valve cover bears the nameplate with the name of the manufacturer: Stradellina. The belts are made of black leather; the shoulder strap, also made of black leather, is attached to the case by means of metal rings. The instrument is fitted with 4 black plastic feet; the dimensions are mm. 191 x 101 x 203.


M. 2.      Terracotta whistles, Italian, 20th century. The first represents a feminine figure, 77mm (3.05”) long, and shows an embouchure and two holes. The second is a little spherical ocarina with 4 upper holes and two lower holes. The third is a whistle in the shape of an ocarina with side embouchure, 147mm (5.8”), 2 front holes and 1 back hole with feminine faces and medallions. 2 water whistles miming the bird song, fish shape, 100mm (3.95”) long. 3 zoomorphic whistles with embouchure hole and 2 holes in the shapes of a shell (71mm – 2.8”), of a little owl (88mm – 2.45”), and of a swallow (112mm – 4.4”); the last is a zoomorphic whistle in the shape of a rooster, made by Rosario Mastro in mid 20th century of not enamelled scratched terracotta.


M. 3.      Terracotta ocarinas, 20th century. This globular flute was invented in Budrio (Bologna) in 1863 by Giuseppe Donati who was author of a notable production together with study methods, up to the creation of a virtuosos ensemble. Cesare Vicinelli during the first decades of 20th century acquired Donati’s inheritance opening another manufacturer in Budrio and, perfecting the technique, took this simple instrument to its splendour. The first two come from De Fazio manufacturer in Grottaglie and they are decorative pieces, made of pottery, 197mm (7.75”) and 145mm (5.7”) long, with 8 front holes and 2 back holes; the third comes from former East Germany, it is made of red-painted terracotta and presents 2 back holes and 8 front holes, length 185mm (7.3”); the fourth is 113mm (4.45”) long, probably Emilian, it has 8 front holes, the last a double hole, and 2 + 2 back holes; the fifth and the sixth are two big non professional ocarinas (151mm – 5.95” and 180mm – 7.1”), made of not enamelled terracotta, made by Francesco Annicchiarico; the seventh, made of black-painted terracotta, 148mm (5.8”) long, comes from Austria and presents 8 front holes and 2 back holes; the eighth and the ninth were made in Budrio, by Arrigo Mignani manufacturer, they are made of wood and have un usual hole disposition, 129mm (5.05”) and 160mm (6.3”) long; the tenth, lastly, made of black-painted wood, in D, Austrian make (branded MUSIK / AUSTRIA, the letter D and two overlapping medals), is 178mm (7”) long.


M. 6.      Bird decoy made in 19th century in France and Northern Italy. The first three are decoys for turtle doves. Two of them are made of dark wood and one is made of boxwood. They are turned in a spherical shape with a front hole and a foot. The first has the hole covered with horn and it is 137mm (5.4”) long, the second is 116mm (4.55”) long, while the third, made of pale wood, is 129mm (5.05”) long and has the hole made of horn. The last three are decoys for plovers and cuckoos, they are made of wood, with a single hole on the front, the side, or the foot and are respectively 91mm (3.6”), 62mm (2.45”), and 62mm (2.45”) long.


M. 8.      Castagnette from Sorrento, sort of handled castanets made of a middle handled piece and two side pieces that play making it resonate on the hand palm. One of them is made of fir, 189mm (1.45”) long, and the other is made of sessile oak, 147mm (5.8”), with a small circular ivory decoration on the handle.


M. 9.      Castanets made of olive wood during the first half of 20th century. These concussion instruments are in the shape of shell and are played making them resonate in the hand palms; in this case there are both the pairs of castanets. The instrument is 85 x 62 mm (3.35” x 2.45”).


M. 11.    French kazoo (mirliton), Varinette, made during the second decade of 20th century.  This instrument is made of a small wooden pipe with a middle hole and two membranes at the ends. Blowing or singing in the embouchure the membranes vibrate producing the sound.


M. 12.    Slide whistles, pair of English instruments, second half of 19th century, the first (65 mm – 2.55”) is made of ivory with an ebony slide, and the second (57 mm – 2.25”) is made of mahogany with bone slide and a border with a small brass chain.


M. 21.    Toy in the shape of a shawm with metal vibrating reed and four metal keys that make the notes vary. Made of two wood pieces in central Italy in mid 19th century.


M. 23.    English kazoo made during the first decades of 20th century, ebonite body 114mm (4.5”) long, and two metal bells for the vibrating reeds. Brand: SWANEE / SAZZAFONE / REG. / MADE IN LONDON / ENGLAND / PRO. PAT. / REG. DESIGN / REG. U.S. PAT. OFF.


M. 24.    Mirliton, probably made in Northern Italy between the end of 18th century and the beginning of 19th century. Cylindrical body, made of wood, 341mm (13.4”) long, covered with green paper with blue and red dots. The ends are made of elegantly turned natural wood, one of them with eight vent holes and the other with the embouchure and the vibrating membrane.


M. 25.    Mirliton, probably made in Italy between the end of 18th century and the beginning of 19th century. The cylindrical body, 261mm (10.25”) long, is made of turned wood and presents at one end the embouchure and 24 vent holes. The two end pins are made of ebony with the total length of 303mm (11.9”).


M. 26.    Mirliton, probably made in Venice between the end of 18th century and the beginning of 19th century. It presents a cylindrical body, made of brown-coloured wood, with the embouchure and 8 vent holes. The two ends, where there are the membranes, are screwed in the body with a total length of 223mm (8.75”).


M. 27.    Toy xylophone, made in Switzerland at the end of 19th century. The instrument is made of 12 metal bars (from C4 to F5) fixed on a wooden stand inserted in a wooden box (dimensions 371 x 133 x 48 mm – 14.6” x 5.25” x 1.9”) covered with coloured paper with illustrations of playing children. Inside there is a small wooden mallet.


M. 28.    Eunuch flute, probably Neapolitan, datable to the second half / end of 18th century. The eunuch flute is basically a mirliton with the sound membrane only at one end, professional, often refined, make. This instrument presents the body, lightly conical, made of stained wood, two rods and the ends made of finely carved bone. The embouchure hole is on the narrow part of the body, near the membrane that, hidden by the bone protection, was fixed whit a twine to the knurled tenon: the total length of the instrument is 273mm (10.75”).


M. 31.    Instruments for crèche musician shepherds, Neapolitan, datable to mid 19th century. The instruments are a cornamusa zoppa, type from Molise, with bag made of animal bladder and wooden body, and a wooden shawm, made in a detailed way very faithful to the original.


M. 32.    Decoys for quails made of donkey leather, Italian, datable to the first decades of 20th century. These instruments were made of bags of reversed donkey leather; five of them have a piece of sheep bone (shinbone), and two of them have a metal pipe with a hole used as a fipple. The sound is emitted pressing the bag. The instruments are respectively 210mm (8.25”), 182mm (7.15”), 155mm (6.1”), 154mm (6.05”), 146mm (5.75”), 157mm (6.2”) and 132mm (5.2”) long.


M. 34.    Toy xylophone made in the United States in 1930, in his original box. The instrument is made of eight metal bars fixed on a metal trapezoidal stand that is 256mm (10.05”) long with the sides being 106mm (4.15”) and 75mm (2.95”) long. There are also two mallets made of coloured wood and some scores with simple songs.


M. 35.    Bird decoys, Italian, datable to the first decades of 20th century. The first, for thrushes, is made of a cylindrical bellows, 38mm (1.5”) wide and 64mm (2.5”) high, made of a spring with leather covering that, closed at the end by a wooden stopper, blow the air in a metal cylinder at the bottom that produces the sound. The second, for thrushes, is similar to the first with dimensions 38 x 60 mm (1.5” x 2.35”). The third is a decoy for black-winged stilts and it is a wooden cylinder, 133mm (5.25”) high, with a cogwheel and a plate on the top. The fourth is a decoy for magpies made of brass and green plastic, 94mm (3.7”) high. The fifth is a decoy for magpies made of brass and pink plastic, 109mm (4.3”) long. The sixth is pyriform, made of brass, for blackbirds, and is played by inhaling, 62mm (2.45”). The seventh, for blackbirds, similar to the previous, 69mm (2.7”) long. The eighth is 79mm (3.1”) long, for thrushes, made of a wooden parallelepiped and the sound is produced by the rubbing of the metal screw inside of it. The ninth is a metal decoy, for larks, with a long embouchure and a small cylinder as the base, with total dimensions of 51mm (2”). The tenth, for blackbirds, is a small flat cylinder made of metal, 24 x 20 mm (0.95” x 0.8”). The eleventh, for blackbirds, is similar to the previous, with dimensions 28 x 7 mm (1.1” x 0.25”). The twelfth, for blackbirds, is similar to the previous, with dimensions 37 x 14 mm (1.45” x 0.55”). The thirteenth is a small conical decoy for larks made of bone, 27mm (1.05”). The fourteenth is a decoy for marine birds, made of wood painted black, 86mm (3.4”) high, with a spherical embouchure and a cylindrical body. The fifteenth is a cylindrical boatswain whistle made of metal, 73mm (8.25”). The sixteenth is a decoy for marine birds, pyriform, made of wood painted black, 55mm (2.15”). The seventeenth is a decoy for mallards, made of wood painted black, conical, 104mm (4.1”) high. The eighteenth is a decoy for ducks made of sheep bone, cylindrical, 62mm (2.45”) long. The nineteenth is a globular whistle, for turtle doves, made of brown plastic, 115mm (4.5”) long.


M. 36.    German toys, made of tinplate cylinders with childhood decorations and a crank on the top that, when turned, produces the sounds. The instruments have different dimensions: one is 74 x 76 mm (2.9” x 3”) and is decorated with some puppies; three are 90 x 82 mm (3.55” x 3.2”) and are decorated with circus scenes, with a redhead child, and with bunnies and bear cubs; the fifth is 110 x 106 mm (4.3” x 4.15”) and is decorated with playing children.


M. 40.    Decoys for marine birds made of pale wood, Piedmontese, datable to mid 20th century. The first is 120mm (4.7”) long and presents a small embouchure hole and a big opening at the base. The second, lightly cylindrical, 105mm (4.15”) long, has a big embouchure and vent hole. The third, 107mm (4.2”) long, has the shape recalling a bottle with a small hole on the top and a fipple on the neck, and it has the foot closed. The fourth has the shape of a cross, 74 x 115 mm (2.9” x 4.5”), with the embouchure and the fipple on the small side, a hole on the right side, and a little inner cylinder. The fifth is similar to the previous with dimensions 54 x 64 mm (2.1” x 2.5”) but with two holes at the end of the side arms. The sixth is a 103 mm (4.05”) whistle, open at the foot, with an upper embouchure and a fipple on the body. The seventh and the eighth are similar to the previous but their dimensions are 85mm (3.35”) and 72mm (2.85”). The last is a small whistle, closed at the foot, 68mm (2.65”) long.


M. 49.    Neapolitan crèche musicians, made of polychrome terracotta, folk make, datable to the second half of 19th century. This little collection of eight figures copies the Moor bands of Neapolitan crèche since 18th century and it is made of trumpet, trombone, cymbals, drum, and serpent players with their typical Turkish costumes.


M. 51.    Whistles from various origin. The first is a hunting whistle from Piedmont, made of ivory with the head of a satyr, about 80mm (3.15”) long and datable to early 19th century. The second is a hunting whistle made of black horn with the head of a dog, Piedmontese, 75mm (2.95”) long, datable to mid 18th century. The third a hunting bone whistle, cylindrical, 50mm (1.95”) long, and datable to mid 19th century. The fourth is a whistle for falcons made of bone, datable to the end of 18th century, 46mm (1.8”) long, while the last is a small bone flute in the shape of a fish, with 4+1 holes, 110mm (4.35”) long, datable to mid 19th century.


M. 52.    Toys for babies, dating back to 1950s: 1) tinplate ratchet, 80mm (3.15”) wide and 12mm (0.45”) high, with the head of a clown drawn on the top; 2) rattle made of silvered metal, consisting of a 37mm (1.45”) wide sphere with a small marble inside, and a 146mm (5.75”) long twisting handle.


M. 55.    Couple of toy rattles with metal reed whistle. The two toys date back to 1930s, they are made of tinplate and are 108mm (4.25”) long. The handle is in the shape of a conical-frustum and on the free end there is the embouchure hole of the whistle while on the other end there is a cylinder, 38mm (1.5”) wide and 20mm (0.8”) high, with drawings of children, containing little pieces of metal that give the sound to the rattle. The first has the drawing of a boxer child while the second has the drawing of a musketeer child.


M. 56.    Toy diatonic button accordions dating back to 1940s, German, made of pressed cardboard. One of them has six melody buttons, red sides with golden borders, and the bellows made of floral paper, with dimensions 208 x 106 x 63 mm (8.2” x 4.15” x 2.5”). The other one has ten buttons and two basses, red sides, and bellows with golden borders with a metal support, with dimensions 214 x 114 x 86 mm (8.4” x 4.5” x 3.4”).


M. 57.    French flageolet (flageolet d'oiseau) and whistle for children, made of wood, dating back to 1940s. The flageolet is 102mm (4”) long and presents four front holes and a back hole with a large embouchure and an approximate fipple. The whistle is made of amaranth-coloured wood, 47mm (1.85”) long.


M. 58.    Metal tambourine and couple of musician puppets, toys dating back to 1950s. The tambourine is made of tinplate coloured green and yellow with figures of anthropomorphic animals and little house, German, branded Agatex, dimensions 162 x 39 mm (6.35” x 1.55”); it has a hole for the thumb and three pair (one missing) of jingles. The puppets are two musicians of bass drum and cymbals, put on a 148 x 68mm (5.8” x 2.65”) base with wheels. The child, pushing the base with a long (missing) shaft, make the wheel rotate on the ground and these, with a simple mechanism, make the puppets move.


M. 62.    Hohner soprano melodica, made in 1959 of green metal with black and white keys. The range is two octaves (from C4 to C6). The melodica is a musical instrument similar to the accordion and the harmonica created by Hohner in 1950: it is a free reeds aerophone with keyboard. The melodica, also known as pianica, blow-organ, or key-flute, has a keyboard with 25 notes on the top and it is played blowing the air through a mouthpiece. This instrument is 338mm (13.3”) long, 59mm (2.3”) wide, and has its original cardboard case.


M. 63.    Hohner alto melodica, made in 1959 of red metal with black and white keys. The range is two octaves (from F3 to F5). The melodica is a musical instrument similar to the accordion and the harmonica created by Hohner in 1950: it is a free reeds aerophone with keyboard. The melodica, also known as pianica, blow-organ, or key-flute, has a keyboard with 25 notes on the top and it is played blowing the air through a mouthpiece. This instrument is 338mm (13.3”) long, 59mm (2.3”) wide, and it has its original cardboard case and two mouthpieces, one black and one white, with a different air opening.


M. 64.    Kazoo made of pale wood, French, datable to early 20th century. The instrument has two side membranes with changeable tension by means of a screw system, and a central embouchure hole. It is contained in a wooden rounded case.


M. 65.    Zellophone, American toy produced during the third decade of 20th century by J. Pressman & co. Inc. in New York (n° 610). The Pressman Toy Corporation was founded in 1922 by Jack Pressman and specialised in producing folk toys with decent quality and, till 1947, it produced toys inspired to Walt Disney production. This is a sort of xylophone with the sounding body made of eight glass tubes beaten with a wooden mallet. The dimensions of the cardboard box, also used as a support for the instrument, are 40 x 230 mm (1.55” x 9.05”) and inside there are, besides the eight glass tubes, a series of six short melodies that could be played with the instrument.


M. 67.    Ocarinas (quartet) made of white terracotta by the Apulian Giorgio Cataldi. These are the result of the continuous experimentation tending to increase the range of this one-chambered instrument into alto and tenor ranges and to improve the sounds and the weight for bass and contrabass ranges. The tuning are in C (141mm – 5.55”), in G (146mm – 5.75”), in F (149mm – 5.85”) and double-chambered bass in C (272mm – 10.7”). The instruments are branded G CAT and on the embouchure there is the indication of the tuning, they have two back holes and eight front holes with the last and the third to last as double holes. The bass has only the third to last hole of the lower body as a double hole while the higher chamber has five front holes and two back holes.


M. 68.    Toy in the shape of a clarinet, anonymous, probably German, dating back to the end of 19th century. The instrument is made of a cylindrical body and a lightly flared bell made of wood painted black with a pale wood embouchure. The total length is 354mm (13.95”). On the body there are six keys that, activated, free some metal reeds producing as many notes.


M. 69.    Contrabass ocarina made of “Etruscan” clay by Giorgio Cataldi in 2013. This is the biggest shape this instrument can reach: the length is 360mm (14.5”) while the diameter at the embouchure is 401mm (15.8”). Besides the fipple hole, there are two back holes for the thumbs and, on the front, four holes for the right hand and three holes for the left hand.


M. 70.    Ocarina in C made of red clay in 2013 by Giorgio Cataldi. The instrument presents two back holes for the thumbs and the fipple hole while on the front there are four holes for the left hand and four hole for the right hand with the last being a double hole. The length is 179mm (7.05”).


M. 71.    Whistle made of metal datable to early 20th century, very little and probably made for a child.


M. 72.    Tin trumpets, first half of 20th century, Italian, produced by Marchesini manufacturer. Agostino Marchesini manufacturer was born in 1908 and was one of the oldest toy manufacturers, with offices in Bologna, branded its toys with the initials AMB Bologna. The instruments are 110mm (4.35”) high and they have a metal reed to produce the sound. The first is coloured with black, red, and white squares; the second with blue, red, and black squares on a red background. They both have a small blue handle and a white embouchure.


M. 78.    Salentino toy tambourine, datable to mid 20th century, made of beechwood and leather with three pairs of metal sheet jingles. The diameter is 183mm (7.2”) and the height of the rim is 48mm (1.9”). In addition to three holes for the jingles, on the rim there is a circular hole for the grip.


M. 79.    Stock, two chanters, and two drones of a Calabrian sordulina in G, datable to the first half of 20th century. There are two chanter of the same length, a shorter drone and a longer drone, both longer than the chanters, each one with inner cylindrical bore with diameter measuring 8mm (0.3”). This instrument is made of wood decorated with geometric shapes, meanders, and leaves except for the longer drone that seems to have been restored. All the canes finish with large bells (110mm -4.35”- for the chanters, 120mm -4.7”- and 105 -4.15”- for the drones) having a merely aesthetic function, because the inner bore is always cylindrical. The two chanters, starting from the stock, measure 208mm (8.2”), with four holes for the fingers for “ritta” (right hand) and “manca” (left hand); on the first there is a sound hole, while the second is wedged with a piece of wax that allow to silence the chanter by closing all the holes. The higher drone (“fischietto” or “scandillo”) measures 112mm (4.4”) and the lower one (“trumm” or “trombone”) measures 232mm (9.15”). The stock, with conical-frustum shape, is 131mm (5.15”) high and, at the base, 135mm (5.3”) wide.     


M. 80.    Harmonica, anonymous, probably built in the first half of the twentieth century and consists of a red-painted parallelepiped wooden, sized mm. 415 x 120 x 74 which contains the metal reeds. On the left side is placed a kind of wind chest, in dark wood, with 22 long (mm. 215) keys that open the hole for the air vent. The insufflator is made from a thick copper tube positioned on the short side of the instrument while on the right side there is a leather handle.


M. 81.    Clarina, German musical toy, made by Hohner in the '60s. The height is mm. 390, mouthpiece and bell are made of white plastic while the body, cylindrical mm. 300, is covered with black linen paper. There are eight keys (Do major), which, driven by the right hand, they open the holes and bring into vibration of metal reeds that produce the notes.


M. 83.    Mirliton, built in northern Italy in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. Ebony cylindrical body with a length of mm. 301 and of mm. 24 in diameter and two mouth holes. The terminals, in which the membranes are housed, are made of boxwood with a truncated cone section, richly turned and coloured red, mm high. 27 and a final diameter of mm. 60 with some signs of wear. The refined invoice indicates an aristocratic destination and not a toy for children. Published in: M. Kirnbauer, De Zwitzers hebben ook een zeker Instrument - Die Schweitz und die Eunuchenflöte, Glareana 50(2), 2002, 51-57, p. 55 (with photo).


M. 84.    Onion flute built in northern Italy in the second half of the nineteenth century. Long mm. 598 e. The body is made of bamboo with a length of mm. 444 and diameter of mm. 24, has a large hole for the mouth of mm 42 at one end eighteen small vent holes at the other end. The terminals are made of onion-shaped painted wood with a diameter of mm. 42: On the end of the mouth hole there are twelve other small vent holes. In "chinoiserie" style, probably for aristocratic destination (not a toy for children). It may have been restored in the last century.


M. 86.    Tintinnabula, three liberty Italian style silver rattles, dating back to the first decade of the twentieth century. The workmanship of excellent workmanship and the construction material show a noble commission. These toys for babies contain inside the balls that cause a sound when they are shaken, two have a large ring to hang it and all have a light blue ribbon. The former has a vaguely hexagonal shape, the second is shaped like a big bow, while the third is reminiscent of a ripe fruit in the center of which there are six seeds. The approximate dimensions of all three are mm. 50 per side and mm. 20 of height.


M. 89.    Tin Whistles (Irish flutes), three instruments, two of them cut in D and one in B-flat. The tin whistles are fipple Irish flutes, used as toys but also appreciated by professionals, they have a metallic cylindrical body, six front holes and a labium mouthpiece. They were produced in the 1980s in Dublin by McCullough Pigott Mfg. Ltd. Pigott's company has been part of the music scene in Dublin since 1823: known as one of the city's main music stores, Pigott's has been involved in wind, brass and pianos. Denis McCullough was a violinmaker and a Belfast piano tuner. Following a fire in his Dublin music store in the 1960s, the two companies merged and became McCullough Pigott (Manufacturing) Limited, which remained active until the 1990s. The instrument in B-flat and one of those in B are marked GENERATION / BRITISH / MADE; the first one, in nickel-plated brass, is mm. 374 long and has a blue mouthpiece while the second has a red mouthpiece, which distinguishes the brass instruments, and is mm. 296 long. The second instrument in B, long mm. 300, has the green mouthpiece, is in brass and is marked FEADÓG / Made in Ireland / BY / McCullough Pigott Mfg.


M. 98.    Triple whistle in bone and metal made in Italy in the first half of the 20th century. The instrument consists of a central, cylindrical, metal body of mm. 56 in length and mm. 17 in diameter. In the middle there is a large oval opening and, on the opposite side, there is a cylinder with a hole in the center that allows to be emitted of the sound. On one side there is a labium, in horn, with a wooden wedge with a length of mm. 33, on the other a cylinder, in horn, with a length of mm. 44, which houses a metal reed which constitutes the third whistle.


M. 99.    Whistles for birdcall made in Italy in century the 20th century.


1. quail call made of black reversed donkey hide and bone 158 mm. long, diameter of bone 20 mm.

2. labium whistle, wooden, 68 mm. long, diameter 19 mm.

3. quail call, black reversed donkey hide and bone, 168mm long, diameter of bone 20mm.

4. thrushes call, consisting of a bellows cylinder 124 mm long; the leather part is 41 mm wide and the brass part 23 mm wide.

5. quail call made of black reversed ass hide and bone 143 mm long, diameter of bone 11 mm.

6. quail call, black reversed donkey skin and bone  145 mm long, bone diameter 24 mm.

7. bilaminar bone waterfowls' call consisting of two parallel blades. At the edges there are two terminals with a total length of 80 mm and a width of 17 mm.

8. two calls for blackbirds, circular base 20 mm long and 12 mm high with central hole.

9. light wood cuckoo call 129 mm long, with a small hole for changing tone surrounded by a metal hoop.

10. quail call made of black reversed donkey hide and bone 152 mm long, diameter of bone 15 mm.


M. 100.  An Apulian terracotta whistle in the shape of a bird, made at the end of the 19th century. This type of whistle is common to cultures all over the world, from South America to China, from Africa to Europe. In Italy, too, they are extremely widespread, with distinctive characteristics for each region: the most important figurine manufactures in Puglia (Grottaglie, Gravina, Rutigliano, Cutrofiano) are no exception. The playing of these whistles on New Year's Eve is believed to bring good omens for the coming year. The base, coloured red and green, holds the whistle made of uncoloured terracotta. An iron wire, starting from the base, holds the terracotta bird with a yellow body, green wings and red tail. On the tail are three light blue feathers and on the head are two long (mm. 270) turquoise parrot feathers. The total height is 330 mm. while the height of the bird alone with the base is 121 mm.


M. 101.  Sarchiapone, zoomorphic whistle inspired by the famous skit by Walter Chiari and Carlo Campanini in 1958, revived in 1974 with Ornella Vanoni. The whistle, made in 2006 by the ceramist Nunzio Basile, is shaped like a pourer, has the blowing hole on the handle and the labium, at the front, on the tongue of the sarchiapone (mother-in-law's tongue). The instrument is decorated with colours in shades of green and yellow; the handle is a fish with two hind legs, on the neck of the pourer is an angel with a sword and the head is a dragon with front legs and protruding tongue. The overall length is 335 mm., the height 192 mm. and the width 221 mm.


O. 2.       Playasax, mechanical instrument, American, made during the first half of 20th century, in the shape of a small saxophone and made of a sort of harmonica with metal reeds that play guided by a pierced sheet of paper mounted on two wooden music rolls and activated by a crank. The piece on the barrel is: QRS Playasax, P136 Marching Thru Georgia.


O. 6.       Italian music box, made during the first decades of 20th century. The metal instrument has the shape of a roundabout with four horses made of Bakelite in the centre and four wooden figures of children playing on the roundabout. On the top there are four small red lights supplied by a battery.


O. 54.     Le avventure di Pinocchio on 78-turn Durium records, unbreakable (cardboard). Opera recorded in Milan from 6 to 17 November 1933 in the Durium phonographic studio. Orchestra chosen by Teatro della Scala conducted by L. Malatesta. Collodi's masterpiece presented, screenplayed, spoken and sung. Adaptation of A. Airoldi and G. Cantini, musical comments by M. Mariotti, sceneries and colour illustrations of "Attilio". Set of 18 records housed in 9 double cases illustrated by Attilio Mussino, in turn stored in a box (mm. 290 x 275 x 60) of cardboard, also brilliantly illustrated in color. Inside each pair of records there is also a foldable two pages in which, only on the front, are depicted figures that were intended to be cut out by the child and placed in the background of the cases as a theatre. Index of the eighteen discs is printed on the reverse side of the cover. Mussino's illustrations, which obviously follow the progression of events, also have the peculiarity of incorporating the image of the Durium disc into the scene.

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