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Musical Instruments

Positive organ in table form

Key data

Unsigned, Switzerland(?), 1st half 17th century

Compass 48 keys, C c3 (without C no.)

three stops: 8' regal (reconstruction), 4' stopped, octave 2'; all pipes wood

pitch al = 466 Hz; tuning heavily moderated mean tone

table top with ornamental walnut, mapleroot and oak veneer

case height 98.4 cm, width 158.5 cm, depth 114.7 cm

keyboard length (F e2) 50.2 cm

Inv. 1870.886.


The pipes lie in the case behind the keyboard. Mounted above the keys and on the side of the instrument are brass strips with openwork foliate decoration and engravings; at the front they carry an inscription not yet interpreted: D.B./BA,/ 1505. The two horizontal wedge bellows incorporated in the base of the table are actuated from the back. The wind is fed to the pipes through the front legs. The organ was used by the Reformed parish of St. Leonhard in the Winterkapelle (winter chapel) of the Leonhardskirche until 1858. When it was replaced by a harmonium, it became a part of the Medieval Collection in 1862; together with a drum it initiated the musical instrument collection.

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Basel Historical Museum
Management & administration
Steinenberg 4
PO box
CH – 4001 Basel

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

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