Saturday, December 31, 2016

Aruba, music box

The Caribbean nation of Aruba declared independence from the Netherlands in 1986, shedding the name "Netherlands Antilles" in the process. Their post office issued a set of regular issue stamps that year, and a follow-up set in 1987 filling out missing denominations. The stamps features simple images of items related to Aruban life. Mysteriously this included this small musical instrument. Scott 11 has a deep red background and is denominated 75c. Scott calls it a music box; it has been on the organ topical list since its inception. But I cannot, looking at the stamp closely, agree that it is an organ. The interior parts look remarkably like the innards of a piano: tuning pins and strings, and the (steel) resonator. I had once imagined the strings were pipes, but the pins belie that possibility. The hand crank on the left-front of the instrument is curious, but not in itself indicative of this being an organ of any type. Hans Timmerman includes this stamp in his database, FWIW. He names it a draaiorgel, or barrel organ. These are popular in the Netherlands. But again, looking at that mechanism, I'm just not sure it's an organ. I am including this stamp here for the sake of completeness, but not with any sense that it truly belongs.