Fuchsschwank German
Fuchsschwanz German
Noli me tangere Latin

In describing this unlikely “stop”, whose name comes from the German “fuchs” (fox), “schwanz” (tail), and “schwank” (joke), I could not possibly improve upon Wedgwood, whose entry reads as follows:

One of the strange accessories sometimes found in old German organs. A stop-knob bearing the inscription “Noli me tangere” (“Do not touch”) was attached to the console. As a reward for their curiosity, persons who, regardless of this injunction, touched the knob, thereby set free the catch of a spring, causing a huge foxtail to fly out into their faces. Sometimes the foxtail was simply attached to the stop knob. Having once drawn the tail out of the jamb, it was a matter of some difficulty to replace it. Meanwhile, the recalcitrant culprit was subject to the chaff of his comrades. There is a foxtail near the dwarf “Perkeo”, guarding the great Tun at Heidelberg Castle. St. Andrea, Erfurt; St. Gertrud, Hamburg.

Regarding Fuchsschwanz, Adlung writes: “Of course the name is not written on [the stopknob].”

See Vox Inaudita.


Noli me tangere; Domes St.Maria (cathedral), Riga, Latvia; Walcker 1883 (restored 1983). This is actually a Pedal to Great (not Great to Pedal!) coupler.


Adlung[1]: §149 Fuchsschwanz, §170 Noli me tangere. Wedgwood[1]: Fuchsschwanz.
Copyright © 1999 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
Fuchsschwanz.html - Last updated 16 April 2003.
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