Although this is primarily a military model site (because most plastic figures are military), it makes a welcome change to consider non-military subjects, such as this set from Valdemar. Having said that, the history of musical instruments is far from our expertise, so of necessity this review will be quite brief and, by the standards that we like to set, not particularly in depth in terms of historical accuracy.
The organ in this set is what is called a positive organ. Some could be placed on a table top, but many such as this were free standing. The instrument has two rows of pipes and has been wonderfully decorated on all its faces – you can even make out the individual keys. Such an instrument was played by one person while one, or in this case two, others provided the wind power by means of bellows. In this set the seated player is accompanied by two men working the bellows which would be positioned behind the instrument. Both the assistants are using both hands, but each bellows has a central handle, so presumably they are not using this, although we do not know the correct procedure. Finally the set includes what seems like a large sack. Valdemar show this under the table with the bellows, so our assumption is that this is to do with the supply of air to the instrument.
Organs are mostly associated with churches today, but in the medieval period they could just as easily provide music in any non-religious environment. Organs of similar design to this model are still being made today, but from a search of contemporary images this lovely model seems historically accurate for the medieval period too. The figures, like the instrument, are beautifully made, if a shade too tall, but as they come with no bases and are made in quite a brittle hard plastic material these are more display models than anything else. A terrific little model then, and about as far away from all things military as you could get.