Restored by Dean Organs of Whitchurch, Bristol, England.
This organ is believed to have been built originally as a 60- or 67-key instrument, sometime
between 1905 and 1910. Its early travelling life is not documented but the organ was returned to
the Limonaire works in 1920 for enlargement to 87-key. From 1920 to the early 1950s, the organ
spent much of its life travelling French Fairs. It was imported into England by Mr WJ Barlow of
Cleobury Mortimer in the early 1950s and remained in his ownership for several years before being
sold to the Corin Family of Cornwall. The organ still played on its 87 scale whilst in their
ownership. The organ was sold to Mr Edward Hine of Shaftesbury, who sent the organ to the well
known English organ firm of Chiappa Limited of London, for maintenance and to be enlarged to the
89VB (Marenghi System). The organ remained in Mr Hine's ownership until the late 1960s when it was
purchased by the well known preservationist Mr Brian Newth of Coalpit Heath, near Bristol, who
travelled the organ extensively throughout the South West until it became in need of restoration.
In 1994, Dean Organs of Bristol were commissioned to purchase a large French fair organ for
restoration on behalf of a client. After much negotiation, the purchase of the Limonaire, serial
number 4123, was secured and restoration began.
Limonaire organs are renowned for their good quality, mellow sweet reed pipework and striking
violins. In order to bring out these qualities, it was decided that the VB Marenghi registration
system should be altered in favour of a system more in keeping with Limonaire style. After long
research and extensive study, a system was decided on.
During restoration, the organ was completely stripped with all components undergoing work and,
during our extensive consultation with our client, it was decided that the casework of the organ
should be re-veneered with the original type of veneer - this being cherry. The end cases had
previously been replaced with red painted plywood and, in order to keep the whole case correct, new
timber was laminated to the back of these cases and veneered to match.
The Proscenium has been returned to its original factory
colour scheme of green, cream and gold. The carved work which was on the
end cases was not original and rather spartan, so it was decided to redesign
and reproduce carvings in the Limonaire style to match the original centre
section, so making the organ look as it would have, had it left the factory
in this size. The complete restoration, all the paintwork and front replication
has been carried out 'in house' at Dean organs. This restoration was completed
At the moment we are engaged in the restoration of a large 89 G4 Gavioli Organ No. 32 which
should be completed early in 1997. No restoration work has ever been done on this organ and it has
never appeared in preservation. We will write up this project and forward an article to The Key
Frame during 1997.