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Discussions => Instrument Makes and Models => Topic started by: boxcall on March 14, 2018, 11:44:19 AM

Title: Interesting Koch harmonica
Post by: boxcall on March 14, 2018, 11:44:19 AM
Have you seen one of these? I've seen a lot of two rows but I don't recall seeing one like this.
To bad it has some damage to one of the pallet arms.
I could pick it up pretty cheap but you how that goes. (:)

It's a one row three stop if you have trouble seeing that.
Title: Re: Interesting Koch harmonica
Post by: pgroff on March 14, 2018, 11:47:37 AM
That is cool!  Some of the early Koch models with this impressed  decoration have fairly heavy wooden casework & this looks like it might be one of them. Good luck if you go for it.

PG
Title: Re: Interesting Koch harmonica
Post by: boxcall on March 14, 2018, 12:19:53 PM
Hi Paul,
One pallet is missing and a pallet arm is snapped off.

Any idea on the date?
Title: Re: Interesting Koch harmonica
Post by: Broadland Boy on March 14, 2018, 12:26:32 PM
I've always considered this hot plate impressed decoration to be the 'real' pokerwork - the industrial version of hot stylus decoration, however, the Vienna gold style seems to be almost universally called pokerwork now, have wondered when this started and if was own to a misprint or similar in a distributors catalogue that kicked it off.

The decoration on this one looks in good order, as far as can be seen anyway.
Title: Re: Interesting Koch harmonica
Post by: pgroff on March 14, 2018, 02:01:52 PM
Hi Paul,
One pallet is missing and a pallet arm is snapped off.

Any idea on the date?

I'd give it a miss to be honest. Possibly 1920s would be my guess, but would defer to anyone who has this in a catalog!

PG
Title: Re: Interesting Koch harmonica
Post by: triskel on March 14, 2018, 03:59:23 PM
Any idea on the date?

I'd give it a miss to be honest. Possibly 1920s would be my guess, but would defer to anyone who has this in a catalog!

'Fraid not. :(

My catalog (c.1920) shows only Vienna-style models as being available in "burnt-wood" finish, and for the same prices as the plainer models. Whilst this would be a German-style model, so I guess they must have come along slightly later, but anything of Koch's own production, rather than a Hohner-Koch, should date from before the official takeover on 1st January 1929.

I have one like it, but in poor condition:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/photo0152.jpg)

And a 2-row version:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/P10100162.jpg)
Title: Re: Interesting Koch harmonica
Post by: boxcall on March 14, 2018, 04:51:23 PM
Hi Paul,
One pallet is missing and a pallet arm is snapped off.

Any idea on the date?

I'd give it a miss to be honest. Possibly 1920s would be my guess, but would defer to anyone who has this in a catalog!

PG

I may just pass as it doesn't have the pallet and arm , probably in the key of C?
It does appear to be in half decent shape otherwise.
For fifty dollars it could be worth it for the parts/ reeds. ( steel reeds)

Any idea on the date?

I'd give it a miss to be honest. Possibly 1920s would be my guess, but would defer to anyone who has this in a catalog!

'Fraid not. :(

My catalog (c.1920) shows only Vienna-style models as being available in "burnt-wood" finish, and for the same prices as the plainer models. Whilst this would be a German-style model, so I guess they must have come along slightly later, but anything of Koch's own production, rather than a Hohner-Koch, should date from before the official takeover on 1st January 1929.

I have one like it, but in poor condition.

Ok thanks , so between 1920 -29.

" burnt finish" is that the same as what is referred to as presswood?

Do you need parts or want to sell some to make a whole unit? Could be both units aren't worth the overall trouble.
Title: Re: Interesting Koch harmonica
Post by: triskel on March 15, 2018, 03:44:03 AM
I've always considered this hot plate impressed decoration to be the 'real' pokerwork - the industrial version of hot stylus decoration ...

Me too, and Koch seem to have been the innovators with it. This is from a c.1920 Koch U.S.A. catalog (it has a new July 1 1921 Dealers Price List inside it), describing the finish as "burnt-wood":

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/scan0003_2.jpg)

Whilst the earliest appearance of something resembling "pokerwork" in any of my old Hohner catalogues is in a May 1927 (if I'm reading the "527" printer's mark correctly, certainly after 1926 anyway) French one I have, in which they describe it as "pyrogravé" (the French for "pokerwork").

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/scan0009_4.jpg)


Only these models don't show any of the burnt wood - that part of the design has been filled with paint (red for 3-voice, green for 2-voice with coupled basses, and black for octave tuning on No. 3865).

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/scan0010_2.jpg)

Quote
... however, the Vienna gold style seems to be almost universally called pokerwork now, have wondered when this started and if was own to a misprint or similar in a distributors catalogue that kicked it off.

There has long been confusion about the terminology for the "pokerwork"/"goldbrand" finishes, even in Hohner's catalogues, and more recently they seem to have also forgotten the differences between "Wiener"/"Vienna" (2915/2815 and 1140/1040) and "Deutsche"/"German" (114) models themselves - and it's not in whether a box has gold style pokerwork decoration, which they now seem to think! ::)

Quote
The decoration on this one looks in good order, as far as can be seen anyway.

Yes, unfortunately the woodwork is warped on mine, and somebody has poorly revarnished it. :(

Edited to add scans from French catalogue
Title: Re: Interesting Koch harmonica
Post by: triskel on March 16, 2018, 05:59:41 AM
Any idea on the date?

My catalog (c.1920) shows only Vienna-style models as being available in "burnt-wood" finish, and for the same prices as the plainer models. Whilst this would be a German-style model, so I guess they must have come along slightly later, but anything of Koch's own production, rather than a Hohner-Koch, should date from before the official takeover on 1st January 1929.

Ok thanks , so between 1920 -29.

And maybe for a handful of years after January 1st 1929, The trouble is nobody knows exactly what happened at the time of the takeover, and Hohner continued to market a range of "Koch", and the cheaper Koch "Mira", instruments (as well as "Kalbe", "Gessner", and "Regal" brands) into the 1930s. In fact the Koch 3-stop in question is illustrated, and described, as No. 4202 in Hohner's mammoth "Catalogue No. 700" of c.1929-30 (bottom of page):

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/scan0016.jpg)

Whilst some instruments with Koch designs on them got sold with "Hohner" badging in those years. ???

But it was a big takeover, that didn't happen overnight, of the factory "next-door"...
Title: Re: Interesting Koch harmonica
Post by: Broadland Boy on March 16, 2018, 11:50:46 AM
Hot iron branding had been used for marking barrels for many years (and cattle !) and became the standard for wooden boxes for shipping just about everything for the consumer (possibly advertising aspect made this more popular) wine champagne & spirit boxes in particular - there was some really super artwork involved and it is now a subject for collectors.

Predating this was a Japanese wood charring treatment for furniture etc,

I cannot think of any other 'consumer product' where mechanical decoration using hot plates to char a decoration onto the timber is involved, although you sometimes see embossing as part of the design, where I've seen these at appears the embossing is done by a wheel on the raw timber before cutting to size.

Must have been quite a novelty when Koch put the first ones out, tactile and colouring in what would have been a fairly cheap process once the plates are made. From what I've seen, at that time from Hohner the factories would have been substantially powered by steam generated from the waste wood - Faber Castell were still operating like this in the 1980's when I went to see their century plus power plant, running on spoiled pencils !
Title: Re: Interesting Koch harmonica
Post by: triskel on March 17, 2018, 02:53:33 PM
I've now made and added scans from the French Hohner catalogue I mentioned:

... the earliest appearance of something resembling "pokerwork" in any of my old Hohner catalogues is in a May 1927 (if I'm reading the "527" printer's mark correctly, certainly after 1926 anyway) French one I have, in which they describe it as "pyrogravé" (the French for "pokerwork").

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/scan0009_4.jpg)


Only these models don't show any of the burnt wood - that part of the design has been filled with paint (red for 3-voice, green for 2-voice with coupled basses, and black for octave tuning on No. 3865).

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/scan0010_2.jpg)