Bird organ (serinette)

19th century

Object Place: France

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Musical Instruments



Compass from c”’ to e””. Roughly made rectagular box of ash. Ten small organ pipes operated through a tracker mechanism by a large pin barrel with a spur gear. Small bellows inside the case. The inside mechanism is operated by a crank handle fixed to a combination worm and crank shaft. The worm engages the spur gear on the barrel and the crank operates the bellows. The barrel is mounted on a movable bracket which has on the right- hand side a projecting shift pin with eight notches. One of the notches is engaged by a latch, permitting the selection of one of the eight airs set on the barrel.


Handwritten label on underside of lid: 1. The blue bells of Scotland / 2. Comin thro the rye / 3. Bonnie Dundee / 4. Winters Heichet [?] (Polka) / 5. Un bal chez le ministre / 6. Le roi des Amoureux / 7. Les cloches de Corneville / 8. Mme Angot / Nota. -- Il faut lever le Clavier chaque fois que l'on change d'air


Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

Credit Line

Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection