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J. Merklin


Tony Price
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Perhaps half a dozen times in the last 35 years I have been faced with a small single manual + pedal instrument built by J. Merklin (Paris?) in a Catholic church in the Clapham area of South London. As an amateur organist, I grapple manfully with the unusual short compass pedal board, and always find it interesting that the few available ranks, all 8ft, are split a la harmonium, Basse and Dessus. The single 4ft is an exception.

 

Never having come across an another instrument like it, I wonder if it has a place in history worthy of conservation (not that I have any input over the welfare of the organ whatsoever), whether the builder was a significant company in France, and if there are other examples of their work in the UK.

 

I would imagine it is a very early 1900s organ, and was probably put in when the church was built at that time.

 

Is anyone able to kindly shed some light on this unusual instrument for me?

 

Gratefully,

 

Tony

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Joseph Merklin was indeed a great builder, and a grand

traveller as well.

A pupil of Eberhardt Friedrich Walcker, he worked first with

Korfmacher near Aachen.

During this time he made a name in Belgium as being involved

with the construction of two Korfmacher organs in this country

(Stavelot and Namur, the latter a Cathedral organ) in the 1840s.

 

About 1850 he settled in Brussels, where he stayed up to 1870,

having already built a solid reputation.

He left in 1870 for Paris, where he had took Ducrocquet over, leaving the Brussel's business to his foreman Pierre Schyven.

Later he went to Lyon, where he associated with Théophile Kuhn (from the swiss Kuhn organ builders family). The firm became, round the end of the century,

"Michel, Merklin & Kuhn".

So you need first to see if your organ comes from Brussels (pre-1870), Paris

or Lyon. If it dates back 1900 chances are many you actually have a MMK.

 

In Belgium we have some little village jobs by Merklin (pre 1870). Their quality

is variable -sometimes cheap- but they still work and have a splendid tone,

more refined than with french organs.

 

Anyway, your organ deserves a close study before deciding anything. I cannot

tell at distance but chances are many it deserves conservation.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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Joseph Merklin was indeed a great builder, and a grand

traveller as well.Anyway, your organ deserves a close study before deciding anything. I cannot

tell at distance but chances are many it deserves conservation.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

 

Hi

 

Which church is it in? NPOR has an altered Merklin organ in St. Bede, Clapham Park (Roman Catholic Church) index no. N17268.

 

According to NPOR the organ is c.1900 and was altered by Yates in 1927, so is unlikely to afforded "Historic Organ" status by BIOS (the details are on the web site www.bios.org.uk) - it depends how much Yates changed and if there's historic significance in the rebuild state.

 

NPOR list a Merklin Schultz & Co. organ in Aberdeenshire - now removed to an unknown location (D03629). So Merklin is a rare builder in the UK.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

Which church is it in?  NPOR has an altered Merklin organ in St. Bede, Clapham Park (Roman Catholic Church) index no. N17268.

 

According to NPOR the organ is c.1900 and was altered by Yates in 1927, so is unlikely to afforded "Historic Organ" status by BIOS (the details are on the web site www.bios.org.uk) - it depends how much Yates changed and if there's historic significance in the rebuild state.

 

 

NPOR says 'Yates & Allen' - could this have been Roger Yates? - I have not come across an association with an 'Allen' except that he knew Aubrey Thompson Allen when they were both associated with Willis early on in their careers. Thompson Allen of course later went to the USA. Or am I totally off course!

 

AJJ

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Which church is it in?  NPOR has an altered Merklin organ in St. Bede, Clapham Park (Roman Catholic Church) index no. N17268.

 

According to NPOR the organ is c.1900 and was altered by Yates in 1927, so is unlikely to afforded "Historic Organ" status by BIOS (the details are on the web site www.bios.org.uk) - it depends how much Yates changed and if there's historic significance in the rebuild state.

 

Yes, that's the one.

 

Tony

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Yes, that's the one.

 

Tony

 

Hi

 

Looks an interesting instrument - I like divided stops on small organs - adds a lot of flexibility. Puty the 4ft isn't divided as well.

 

As regards an earlier post, I can't comment on "Yates & Allen" and a quick look for Allen in DBOB didn't show anyone who looked likely.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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