Object ID
F2013.42
Object Name
Accordion
Material
Metal; Wood
Object Description
This accordion is made from a light stained wood with metal attachments. The body of the instrument has two wood boxes connected by cloth and metal bellows. Both wooden sections have borders of a painted green leaf pattern that goes all along the surface except where it is interrupted by metal pieces at the corners. On the front faces the body is decorated differently. The left side has two rows of four white buttons each. The medial row of buttons is raised above the lateral row on a small wooden platform. The lateral row is on the outer leafy border, no doubt so that it is easier to play. The face of the right box has the Company's name "Hohner" which is bookended by two pairs of silver coin like images. On the left side the lateral images is of a naked person, the overlapping medial "coin" has a crest with a laurel wreath both of these central images are bordered with inscriptions that are no longer legible. The medial image on the set of "coins" on the right side is less clear it is perhaps a marritime scene with a ship in the water and blowing winds but it could also be a seated eagle. It partner is a seal with a spireweblike decoration around the words "Grand Prix." All of this decoration is done in silver paint. The top face of the right box has a small plaque that has been nailed into the wood. The metal reads "M. Hohner- Made in Germany." The left box has the remains of a leather strap where it was connected to the box. The bottom face of the left box also has the remains of where the strap was attached. Because the right hand box has a keyboard area (although it is important to note it is not actually a keyboard) extending there was no need for a strap. The remains of this strap however kept the left hand attached to the instrument. The right lateral face of the instrument has (now broken) wooden floral tracery protecting/hiding the system of wooden and metal mallets that connect to the buttons. Behind the decorative wood is a layer of mesh that has fallen apart and down into the instrument. From this side a wooden platform comes out about 2.5 inches with two rows of white buttons. The buttons are the same as those on the other side of the instument and have discolored to a yellow. There are three metal loops surrounding the wooden tracery; one on top and one on each side. On the opposite face there are a series of holes, presumably where the music comes out of. The wholes are patterned as two circular clusters. Each clusters has one central hole with a ring of eight holes around it. There is a layer of mesh behind the holes. The mesh has been broken in a couple of spots. The wood on this side has been stained red.
Origin
The two rows of buttons on the right hand side of the accordian mark the instrument as a Diatonic Button Accordion. Essentially this means that there is at least one row (in this case there are two) of buttons each of which creates a different sound when the bellows are pulled from when they are pressed. The melody is played on these buttons while the harmony is created with the buttons on the front face of the left hand side of the instrument. This is a right handed manual system and so while accordion experts can play both sides with either hands the button keyboard side is generally played with the right hand. The Hohner company is most famous for manufactureing harmonicas and accordions. Although they specialize in keyboard instruments, they have also made stringed and reed instruments since the company was founded in 1857. The logo is even a man posed as though he is playing an accordion but instead of an instrument he is holding the company's name. The opporation began in Germany however they had most of their bussiness in the US. The closest model to this accordion is the Morgane in the Celtic family.
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Citation
Accordion, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/9760. Accessed 10/19/20.