Vintage Accordions

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wikicollecting

2015-06-26 10:30:48

The term Vintage accordions applies to accordions made before the 1930s.

Brief history and description

The accordion, sometimes referred to as a squeezebox, is a box-shaped musical instruments | musical instrument]]] and belongs to the free-reed aerophone family.

An accordion emits sound by constricting or expanding bellows whilst the player, known as an accordionist, presses buttons or keys. This causes valves to open which allows air to flow across reeds, strips of steel or brass, which then vibrate inside the body to produce sound.

The accordion has its roots in China, in which similar free-reed aerophone instruments, such as the khaen and sheng, have been played for hundreds of years. The accordion took its more recognisable form in Berlin in 1822 and was invented by Christian Friedrich Ludwig Buschmann. However, this has become contested lately as another instrument built earlier has recently been discovered.

The accordion first became popular in German-speaking regions before it spread over Europe during the early-eighteenth century. It was first documented in Britain in 1831 in a less than favourable review in The Times. Despite this inauspicious beginning, the instrument became highly popular in the mid-eighteenth century on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

The accordionist is sometimes referred to as a one-man-band, as they do not need any additional instruments. The accordionist uses his right hand to play the melody by pressing on buttons or keys, whilst the background melody, known as the accompaniment, is produced by pressing pre-set chord buttons with the left hand.

Collectors Guide

The best and most collectable vintage accordions are always hand-made. One explanation for this is that hand-made reeds have a far superior tonal quality than even the finest manufactured reeds.

The value of an accordion is dependable on a number of factors, most notably the condition of the accordion and its brand. For vintage accordions, playability is prized higher than antiquity. Unless you were buying an accordion from the first half of the eighteenth century, expect to pay more for any accordion which still works.

The brand of accordion also plays a huge part in discerning the value. As a rule of thumb, accordions produced by Chinese and East-European companies such as Weitmeister, Delicia, Parrot and Hero are of lower quality and cost significantly less than German, Italian or Austrian manufacturers, such as Victoria, Pigini, Fratelli Crosio, Paolo Soprani, Scandalli and Zupan.

Without doubt, Hohner accordions are the some of the most exceptional accordions ever produced and even new models can begin at $10,000.

Vintage accordions are usually sold either at specialist accordion distributers or on online bidding sites such as eBay. Prices can vary and, depending on the condition and brand, can be bought for under $100. However, the quality of items sold on such websites cannot always be verified.

Notable Sales

In January 2012, a Marzioli three-row, twelve-bass accordion was sold on eBay for just under $1,000. The Italian company was founded in 1938 by Antonio Marzioli and continues to produce top range accordions from its factory in Recanati, Italy.

In January 2012, a vintage forty-one key Settimio Soprani accordion, equipped with its original leather case, was sold on eBay for $399.

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