Mélophone

about 1845


Object Place: Paris, France

Dimensions

Length 77.6 cm, width 30.3 cm, depth 12 cm (Length 30 9/16 in., width 11 15/16 in., depth 4 3/4 in.)

Accession Number

17.1947

Medium or Technique

Maple

Not On View

Collections

Europe, Musical Instruments

Classifications

Aerophones

Compass from B-e”’, with the additional tones G, G-sharp, A, and A-sharp for octaves. A guitar-shaped case of bird’s-eye maple, containing a double bellows operated by a handle affixed to two plunger rods. On the top of this case is a cover of the same shape, but smaller, with ribs of bird’s- eye maple and belly of spruce with two F-holes as on a violin. The cover protects the valve mechanism, consisting of eighty-three valves with operating levers, springs, and control wires located on the top of the air chamber; the later is split in two parts held by six hinged screws with wing- nuts, thus permitting easy access to the reeds and air valves. There is a short neck with a small decorative scroll affixed to the air chamber. On the front surface of the neck are eighty-four semicircular touches of German silver, spaced by a perforated plate into seven longitudinal rows, each containing twelve touches. An octave coupling lever is at the back of the neck. An old, probably original wood case is associated with the instrument. For a longer and more detailed description by Darcy Kuronen, see the instrument file.

Provenance

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