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Discussions => Instrument Makes and Models => Topic started by: RogerT on October 11, 2017, 02:12:11 PM

Title: Liliput
Post by: RogerT on October 11, 2017, 02:12:11 PM
Can someone either point me to a thread on Liliput production history or share info on when they were produced, and why...I.e. Why so small and who played em/carried em?
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: Grape Ape on October 11, 2017, 02:18:11 PM
I thought I read somewhere they were designed so small as to be portable and easily carried in the backpacks of the Hitler youth- In fact there were print ads to that effect, but I don’t remember where I found them...
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: Pete Dunk on October 11, 2017, 02:22:04 PM
Made in the 1930s only, they were designed for backpackers and walkers to carry around with them. Production ceased at the beginning of the Second World War I believe.
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: RogerT on October 11, 2017, 02:40:38 PM
I thought I read somewhere they were designed so small as to be portable and easily carried in the backpacks of the Hitler youth- In fact there were print ads to that effect, but I don’t remember where I found them...
It's easy to imagine this scenario, but someone has asked me about them and I don't want to peddle any myths...
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: Grape Ape on October 11, 2017, 02:48:47 PM
I have definitely seen the ads I describe- I will try to find one and post it but it will have to wait and probably result in my being placed on a watch list...
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: AnnC on October 11, 2017, 03:46:11 PM
I couldn't say for sure about the Lilliputs but on the inside of the old wooden case for a similar size Galotta melodeon there is a label saying " Sportmodell" as well as a little metal 'Heil' badge and a friend who spent some time in Germany shortly after WW11 sometimes saw small melodeons in hikers rucksacks  (:) ...  so they could have been marketed as suitable for both walkers and 'youth groups'.
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: RogerT on October 11, 2017, 05:42:13 PM
Well on the several I've worked on they all seem to have field grey straps and one also had a neat little field grey case, so it fits as a 1930s German rambler's companion.
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: Six Stars on October 11, 2017, 07:59:45 PM
Hi, my Lilliput has a serial number on the bottom, Hohner still has many of the records. If you let them know the serial number and send a payment of about 20 Euros (this may, of course, have increased with Brexit imminent) they will send you a certificate through the post (I used Transferwise to do the deal). Mine tells me that my Lilliput was shipped on 4th November 1935 to a music shop called Kristen in Duisberg - it still bears a tiny metal plate for this company.

The guy I was in contact with at Hohner is Ralf Tritschler: rtritschler@hohner.de

I seem to remember that I got hold of his e-mail address by looking at the Hohner parent company website in Germany (there is an English version). http://www.hohner.de/en
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: tirpous on October 11, 2017, 11:10:22 PM
Couple of threads:

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,11905.msg164299.html#msg164299 (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,11905.msg164299.html#msg164299)
http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,16331.msg200887.html#msg200887 (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,16331.msg200887.html#msg200887)
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: triskel on October 12, 2017, 04:07:52 AM
According to the table of models in "History Unfolds! - 100 Years of Hohner Accordions in Pictures" the Liliput was in production from 1935 until 1940, and the Preciosa from 1935 until 1943, and it is stated in that book that they were "miniature instruments designed to be taken on hiking, camping and canoeing trips", whilst the Liliput is still listed in my September 1941 French Hohner catalogue, as being the accordion for campers, canoeists, mountaineers, etc.
 
The heading for them in my 1937 German Hohner catalogue ("Die Freude des Sportlers") translates as "The joy of the athlete" - but that starts to sound less innocent when you realise that such activities as those previously listed were commonly organised by a Nazi organisation named "Kraft durch Freude (http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/nazi-germany/strength-through-joy/)" ("Strength Through Joy").

Also, "Physical education in the NAZI view was perhaps the most important parts of the German school child's day. Hitler increased the time for physical training to 2 hours per day, rather than the customary 2 hours per week before the NAZI take over." [Koch, H. W. - The Hitler Youth: Origins and Development 1922-1945. Stein and Day: New York, 1975. p. 163.], and pupil report cards gave prominance to sports and physical education over academic subjects.
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: lachenal74693 on October 12, 2017, 06:25:23 AM
...on the inside of the old wooden case for a similar size Galotta melodeon there is a label saying " Sportmodell"...

Does anyone know if the word "Sportmodell" is a generic term for such small instruments,
or whether it is a specific Galotta model?

Thank you.

Roger.
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: JD on October 12, 2017, 08:38:20 AM
This thread sparked a memory of a picture of a camper playing a small melodeon. I found this with a Google search. I think it's a Preciosa. It's difficult to tell from the black-and-white image but it might have a gold finish. I don't know that Hohner used another finish on this model that would look like this in B&W.
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on October 12, 2017, 10:12:51 AM
Rog,
Packed in with my Lilliput was a music book “The Hebling System” inside is a picture of a little girls procession all dressed in communion white. They are playing various boxes and mostly small so they could carry and play them. The photo is very much 1930’s and does appear to be “third Reich” Sp?
I’ll show it to you when you’ve finished Steam Punking.
By the way on the inside of the case lid there are some tune titles all crossed out. I can’t make them out, but am convinced there’s “ Horst Wessel “ under the scribbles there.
Wouldn’t it be great if boxes could tell you their complete history. A bit like the Organette ,what a history it must have had and still ongoing.
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: RogerT on October 12, 2017, 11:00:23 AM
Ha, Nick. Yes I was looking at videos of the Horst Wessel yesterday. A chilling anthem if ever there was one...
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: Prestidigitator on October 12, 2017, 11:13:57 AM
According to the table of models in "History Unfolds! - 100 Years of Hohner Accordions in Pictures" the Liliput was in production from 1935 until 1940....

Given the relatively short time for which they were produced, I'm surprised that there are, even now, so many of them still about (I have two). Though melodeons are usually cherished, kept and not generally considered disposable items, Hohner must have turned out quite a lot. Is there any figure on how many in total were made?
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: Malcolm Clapp on October 12, 2017, 11:55:48 AM
This thread sparked a memory of a picture of a camper playing a small melodeon. I found this with a Google search. I think it's a Preciosa. It's difficult to tell from the black-and-white image but it might have a gold finish. I don't know that Hohner used another finish on this model that would look like this in B&W.

Could be white celluloid; I have seen one, with red trim iirc.
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: AnnC on October 12, 2017, 11:57:02 AM

Packed in with my Lilliput was a music book “The Hebling System” ..


  (:) there were two of those in the case with the Liliput from Bulgaria, one of them a tutor book the other a collection of songs and tunes published between 1921 and 1933 and on the back advertisements for the new 1934-35 publications, they had been sold from a music shop at 23 Westkotterstrasse, Wuppertal. The one from Germany had three booklets of Ländler tunes with it, no dates I can see but all priced at Rm. 2 each.
 
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: triskel on October 12, 2017, 12:11:57 PM
...on the inside of the old wooden case for a similar size Galotta melodeon there is a label saying " Sportmodell"...

Does anyone know if the word "Sportmodell" is a generic term for such small instruments,
or whether it is a specific Galotta model?

It does seem to have become a generic term for these miniature Club Models (though Hohner never used it as such), and also for mini 2-row and piano accordions, especially amongst the Klingenthal makers (like G. A. Schlott = Galotta) who often used it in their catalogues.
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: triskel on October 12, 2017, 12:29:31 PM
This thread sparked a memory of a picture of a camper playing a small melodeon. I found this with a Google search. I think it's a Preciosa. It's difficult to tell from the black-and-white image but it might have a gold finish. I don't know that Hohner used another finish on this model that would look like this in B&W.

Could be white celluloid; I have seen one, with red trim iirc.

I've also seen a Preciosa in white with black trim, whilst I've seen that photo before too - in a late-1930's copy of Accordion Times.
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: JD on October 12, 2017, 01:24:57 PM

Could be white celluloid; I have seen one, with red trim iirc.

I've also seen a Preciosa in white with black trim, whilst I've seen that photo before too - in a late-1930's copy of Accordion Times.

You learn something every day. I've seen miniature piano accordions in white but never a melodeon.
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: TedK on October 12, 2017, 05:53:52 PM
Lots of mentions of the Nazis here but just to add a bit of context, walking and hiking became for the first time extremely popular hobbies for the masses in the interwar years and there were similar outdoor clubs affiliated with the Communists and many others that had no political connotations. A portable instrument would have had a much wider market that just the HJ.

One can see parallels in the UK with the growth of the Scout movement, the mass trespass at Kinder Scout, The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift etc.

So to say that the Liliput was created "for the Hitler Youth" is really not telling the whole story.
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: triskel on October 12, 2017, 09:31:25 PM
All true TedK, except you left out cycling - which is what my father was into in the '30s (his teenage years, in South London), and his big ambition in 1939 (until events overtook him) was to get a Hohner accordion... (And his even bigger one was a Brough Superior motorcycle, but that's another story, for another board. ;))

Whilst there were even some "Black Dot", 2-row, versions of the Liliput, made specially for the Scottish market!

But it was impossible to avoid involvement with the Nazis if you were living in Germany at the time, and they had a strong influence on everybody and everything. So German schoolchildren had two hours of PE every day, and the KdF/Strength through Joy were organising "holidays" that involved camping, yomping across mountains, paddling across lakes, and suchlike. Whilst membership of/indoctrination into the Hitler Jugend/Youth became compulsory for German children.  :(

Mind you, looking through photos of Hitler Youth members lasI night I found several of them playing full-size accordions, one with a Bandonion or Chemnitzer concertina, a couple with recorders, and even more with guitars, but not one playing a Liliput or Preciosa...  :-\
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: malcolmbebb on October 12, 2017, 10:04:23 PM
I seem to recall seeing some prices showing that Liliputs were quite expensive for the time, which would tie up with them being a more for he gentleman rambler.
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: Malcolm Clapp on October 12, 2017, 10:09:31 PM
This thread sparked a memory of a picture of a camper playing a small melodeon. I found this with a Google search. I think it's a Preciosa. It's difficult to tell from the black-and-white image but it might have a gold finish. I don't know that Hohner used another finish on this model that would look like this in B&W.

Could be white celluloid; I have seen one, with red trim iirc.

Actually, probably better described as cream than white, but may have discoloured with age.

I'm sure that somewhere I have a photo of a Preciosa with a flat white finish, but can't find it right now  :-(

Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: triskel on October 12, 2017, 11:02:53 PM
I seem to recall seeing some prices showing that Liliputs were quite expensive for the time, which would tie up with them being a more for he gentleman rambler.

Well Hohners would have been dearer than similar Klingenthal models, but they were usually better quality too.

Whilst all Hohner Club Models were substantially more expensive than a Pokerwork, but the Liliput was the same price as a basic Club Erica/Erika - and so 2nd equal cheapest of them all!


For the sake of price comparison, and where it fitted into the range, here are the Club Model prices from the 1937 German catalogue (in Reichsmarks), with the translated catalogue page headings added:

Club IB Piccoletta         RM 53.-   ("rewarding educational instruments")

Club 214 Erica             RM 63.-   ("rewarding educational instruments")

Liliput                        RM 63.-   ("the joy of the sportsman")

Club IIA                      RM 80.-   ("two-voice club models with celluloid casing")

Preciosa                     RM 82.50  ("the joy of the sportsman")

Club IIB Victoria           RM 98.-   ("two-voice club models with celluloid casing")

Club IIIA                     RM 120.-   ("the joy of the discerning club players")

Club III A R                 RM 133.-   ("the joy of the discerning club players")

Club IV                       RM 142.-   ("the joy of the discerning club players")

Club IV R                     RM 155.-   ("the joy of the discerning club players")

Club V                        RM 186.-   ("small handy form, an instrument for ladies")

Club VI                       RM 197.-   ("small handy form, an instrument for ladies")

Club VII                      RM 205.-   ("small handy form, an instrument for ladies")

Club VIII                     RM 205.-   ("for heightened demands")

Club IX                       RM 218.-   ("for heightened demands")

Club X                        RM 227.-   ("for heightened demands")

Ouverture I (Club 235)   RM 362.-  ("for heightened demands")

Ouverture II (Club 255)  RM 405.-   ("for heightened demands")

Also for the sake of comparison, a No. 2815 (pokerwork) was substantially cheaper than ANY of these, at only RM 34.50...
Title: Re: Liliput
Post by: triskel on October 13, 2017, 07:22:39 PM

Could be white celluloid; I have seen one, with red trim iirc.

Actually, probably better described as cream than white, but may have discoloured with age.

I'd call it "pearl" or "pearl white", as opposed to "white pearloid" or "plain white"...