Saturday, March 15, 2014

Philippines: The Bamboo Organ

Anyone remotely interested in collecting stamps with the pipe organ theme will be familiar with the famous bamboo organ in Las Pinas, Philippines. Chris van Doodewaard has posted a very helpful article on the organ. The builder was a priest, Father Diego Cera. It was begun in 1816, heard in worship in 1821 and called "complete' in 1824 with the addition of a horizontal trumpet stop. The instrument is made almost entirely using bamboo. The horizontal reed pipes are in fact metal. The organ endured its harsh environment for many years but was finally declared unplayable in 1972, shipped to the Klais firm in Germany in 1973, rebuilt in a climate-controlled facility that replicated its "home" conditions. It was returned and re-installed in 1975. The organ has a single keyboard, divided. It was designed and built in a Spanish style.

The organ is featured on a set of three stamps (Scott 903-905) issued in 1964. The second of the three stamps was surcharged and re-issued (Scott 1055) in 1971. Philatelic materials related to these stamps are abundant. I have accumulated envelops and postcards, first day covers and programs all using these stamps in various combinations.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Netherlands: Street organ

This stamp was issued as part of a set of two in 1981. It features a street organ. These instruments are self-contained and built on carts that can be towed or otherwise moved from place to place. These are apparently quite a thing in the Netherlands, as a cursory image search revealed many, many images. I am not able to determine the maker of this particular instrument. It has three openings for sound to emerge from the works. It seems that it was designed to be moved by hand, rather than self-propelled or towed by a vehicle. The other stamp in the set (issued for the Europa theme "folklore and customs") depicts bells. The present stamp, Scott 614, is denominated 65c.

Monaco: Cathedral

This post follows up on the earlier post on the history of the organ in the Monaco Cathedral. The stamp was issued in 2012. The instrument was completed in 2011. The website for the builder, Belgian firm Orgues-Thomas, tells us the instrument has 4 manuals and pedal and includes 74 ranks. This discussion board thread discusses the instrument, and includes the stoplist, as well as information about the inaugural concert for the instrument.