Nederlands | English | Deutsch

About "de Paardekop"

About 'De Paardekop'

This street organ was known as “Kleine Paardekop” (Small Horse Head). It was the first street organ of a series of six that Jaap Minning built for and delivered to Piet Timmermans. According to oral history, Timmermans was so very impressed when Jaap Minning built the street organ “Grote Blauwe” (Great Blue), that in 1932 he commissioned him to build six 56-key street organs. Fronts and casings were ordered in Belgium and Jaap Minning provided the pipes and all other parts. Piet Timmermans gave these six street organs the series number 17 and in 1933 they were added to his street organ inventory. The street organs from the 17-series all had the 56 key limonaire gamma. On the request of Timmermans, Jaap Minning had made some small changes in this gamma and had – except for the large drum – clustered all the drumming instruments, the small drum clackers and the cymbals and register keys. All six instruments were named for the paintings on their fronts. De Paardekop had the same paintings on its top as the Houtzaagmolen (Wood Saw Mill) or Grote Paardekop (Large Horse Head). The names of the six street organs were: De Paardekop (The Horse Head), de Oosterse Dame (the Eastern Lady), de Kat en de Haan (the Cat and the Cock), de Maerelingk (or Merel – the Blackbird), de Ovaaltjes (the Ovals) and de Zwaan (the Swan).

Before the Second World War De Paardekop played in Rotterdam, and also in Dordrecht. In 1945 the street organ was the property of Joost van de Zwaan who turned its wheel in this time of liberation in Sliedrecht until 1946. During this time the street organ showed the name J. v.d. Zwaan. In the summer of 1946 it was leased by Arie de Boef who together with his wife and their son Simon exploited it in Rotterdam, first at a merry-go-round and later on the streets. It is suspected that at the time the street organ was owned by John Verhoeckx Jr., but since his name never was on the front of the street organ this is by no means a certainty.

The street organ in its current condition.

The other street organs of the 17-series nearly all had a dismal, inglorious ending due to demolition or were sold abroad. De Maerelingk still is extant. In 1950 the street organ park of Piet Timmermans had attained its former size by the acquisition of some small street organs. At the end of 1951, though, the entire inventory was sold to Dolf v.d. Acker. Next De Paardekop was used to proselytize. The very neglected remains were bought by the boys of Roos, who resold it to Henk Gossling. From 1960 onwards the street organ was leased by Barend Ruehl, who drove it through the streets of Amsterdam. Afterwards the street organ exhanged owners until Riks Gossling gave it a complete maintenance service in 1976/77. The front was given a new painting and was opened up. In januari 1995 the street organ was bought by mr. J. Boon from Den Helder. The library of its music books was very much expanded and the front was redecorated.

The maintenance.

De Paardekop is in perfect condition. Its keyboard was fully examined, restored and tuned by Martin Conrads in 2005. De Paardekop is frequently played in the Dutch provinces Friesland (Frisia) and Noord Holland.

De Paardekop anno 1933

Number of keys:52
Song (22): bourdon (2x), violin (2x)
Accomp. (11): covered (2x), violin (1x), viox celeste (2x)
Bass (8): high bass, low bass
Drumming instruments: large drum + cymbals, small drum.

Tulpstraat 12
1782 MP Den Helder
The Netherlands
Tel. +31 (O)223-623080 / +31 (0)6-50493529