What is a cabinet pipe organ?
March 12, 2014

What is a cabinet pipe organ?

1785 Johannes Strumphler Cabinet Pipe Organ

1785 Johannes Strumphler Cabinet Pipe Organ

Recently, Ted and I attended the Paul Jacobs pipe organ concert at the Toledo Museum of Art. The concert was in the evening so we decided to spend the afternoon walking through the museum.

We were very surprised to find a cabinet pipe organ on display. A cabinet pipe organ is a small organ that is built inside of a cabinet. This particular cabinet organ was made around 1785 and is credited to organ builder Johannes Strumphler. The cabinet doors can be closed to hide the pipes when not in use. There is a foot pedal to pump air into the bellows. There is not a bench for this organ. The organist stands while playing presumably with one foot pumping the foot pedal. I am assuming the drawers are fake, but we didn’t try to open them!

Details on Cabinet Organ

Detailed work on the Cabinet Organ

The cabinet was beautiful with detailed scroll work and claw feet. In the description next to the display, it says that Johannes Strumphler worked with a fine cabinetmaker. The materials used for the cabinet include mahogany, oak, glided maple, glided bronze, ivory, ebony, and mother-of-pearl.

The cabinet itself is art, yet no recognition for the cabinetmaker. Very similar to the many paintings in the museum that had elaborate hand carved wooded frames. We didn’t read every plague but we didn’t notice any that mentioned the the frame maker. The names of the cabinetmakers and frame makers forever lost to history.

Can you imagine of this cabinet organ in your living room? What a surprise it would be for someone who opened it thinking it is a regular cabinet!

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Paul Jacobs Pipe Organ Concert at the Peristyle - February 22, 2014
Daniel Roth Concert - Ypsilanti, MI March 2014

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

wieger - April 14, 2015 Reply

In Holland, we have a lot of these organs. Even smaller models as a secretaire organ or a bureau organ. The drawers are fake. Behind the drawes is a small bellow en lies the windchest.
Have a look:




A friend of my has restaurated this small one with 2 1/2 stop


Wieger van Asperen
Dalfsen, The Netherlands

    Heidi Bender - April 14, 2015 Reply

    Wow! There are so many! Thank you for sharing.

    Hairstyles - October 13, 2019 Reply

    I was recommended this blog via my cousin. I am not positive whether this submit is written via him as no one else understand such special about my difficulty. You’re incredible! Thanks!

Mom - March 13, 2014 Reply

This is very interesting. An organ of this type would fit nicely in your
living room. You are getting an education while attending organ concerts.

    Heidi Bender - March 13, 2014 Reply

    Hi Mom,

    It would be awesome to have an organ like this one at home. Maybe I will add it to my Christmas list!


Mark Allman - March 13, 2014 Reply

It is interesting that the maker of suck beauty.. the cabinet… is not remembered. This is often the case for those in support roles… they go unnoticed. We should work to make sure when the moment allows us we can sing the praise of those that support efforts of others.

    Heidi Bender - March 13, 2014 Reply

    I will be more cognizant of the support roles in my life now. It is interesting how I didn’t give frames much thought before going to the museum.

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