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Author Topic: Hohner Double Ray  (Read 5134 times)

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A319

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Hohner Double Ray
« on: December 29, 2013, 08:51:01 PM »

I have an accordion which I am looking to sell, but before advertising it I would like to have some guidance as I know nothing about accordions. A bit of background information may help.

My great grandmother's second husband used to play the accordion. Sadly he passed away around 40 years ago and the accordian remains in the family. It seems to work well, but I lack the expertise to say if all is OK. Everything is original as far as I know. Now a couple of hours research on the internet leads me to suspect that it may be a Hohner Double Ray black dot eight chord accordion from the 1950s. I am attaching a photo that may aid the identification. It does have two swastikas on it, though one is quite faded. I guess this means that it was German made?

So, my questions are:

1. What should I look out for when describing it in respect of the condition?

2. Should I clean it up or would that be better left for the buyer to do?

3. How much should I ask for it?

Thanks for your help.

Darren
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 07:21:50 AM by A319 »
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malcolmbebb

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Re: Hohner Double Ray
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2013, 10:02:38 PM »

Hi Darren,
Others will weigh in, I'm sure, but to get the ball rolling:

You identification of a Hohner Double Ray Black Dot is correct. And indeed German made, I would estimate 1930s to early 1940s. It's called a button accordion, or a melodeon in England.

People are reluctant to suggest prices/values or offer valuations. Looking at completed auctions on Ebay might be helpful. They do crop up, and they do sell, but I'm not sure how many get over three figures.

I wouldn't suggest that you do anything to it, including anything more than a very superficial clean. Check that you get a note out of each button, both on pull and push of the bellows, the general condition of the bellows is of interest in particular corners and back, and any detectable leaks. Any visible rust, and any damage or visits by woodworm. Any knowledge of storage conditions. What I see from the photos doesn't look too bad.

It will (guaranteed) need a specialist overhaul before being considered playable, but there is a high likelihood that it can be brought back into use.

My thoughts, for what they're worth.

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hickory-wind

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Re: Hohner Double Ray
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2013, 10:20:38 PM »

Looks likely to be a 3 voice. Next it would be good to determine the instrument key. Most likely BC but could be C#D. Where are you located?
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Theo

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Re: Hohner Double Ray
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2013, 10:35:51 PM »

 No I don't think so, look at the keyboard it is the typical two voice style, it's not the longer type used on three voice, and the name does not include "de luxe".  This is the model where Hohner started using a more rounded shape which was a precursor of the current Erica/Double Ray two voice models.
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pgroff

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Re: Hohner Double Ray
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2013, 11:01:43 PM »

Looks likely to be a 3 voice. Next it would be good to determine the instrument key. Most likely BC but could be C#D. Where are you located?

I agree with Theo that this size is likely a 2 voice box.  Sometimes you see a 3 voice box made in the same size as a 2 voice, but uncommon.  And I've never seen a Black Dot Double Ray from this period that was *originally* C#/D, not to say they don't exist. I think if they have that labeling they were mostly (all?) in B/C originally.  Some similarly styled boxes without the "Black Dot" button  and the "Double Ray" stenciling were made in C/F, C/C#, etc.  C#/D Hohners seem to be a recent development.

Here are two 2-voice Hohners with similar body style, grille, and keyboard.  Neither is totally original, but neither ever had the "Double Ray" stencil.  The one on the right, originally in C/F, is a 12 bass which is somewhat rare, and has had its keyboard modified with a plexiglass top by a previous owner.  The 8 bass one, originally in C/C#, has had some of the celluloid removed from the grille. 

PG
« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 11:08:17 PM by pgroff »
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gerrydundee

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Re: Hohner Double Ray
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2013, 11:08:23 PM »

definitely a 2 voice, the double ray deluxe was 3 voice and mostly had a pinkish  or grey perloid finish, most likely c/c# or b/c
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pgroff

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Re: Hohner Double Ray
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2013, 11:13:00 PM »

definitely a 2 voice, the double ray deluxe was 3 voice and mostly had a pinkish  or grey perloid finish, most likely c/c# or b/c

Absolutely correct, gerrydundee, but also there were 3 voice Double Rays in earlier body styles. The black one here (bellows unoriginal) is a 3 voice BC, though in a very compact case the size of a pokerwork, and though it doesn't say "deluxe."

The grey one is a (1930s?) 4 voice BC -- restored by Theo -- thanks Theo!

PG
« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 11:15:58 PM by pgroff »
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pgroff

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Re: Hohner Double Ray
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2013, 11:19:35 PM »

A319,

Back to your questions, the first reply from malcolmbebb should answer them!

These can be a good sounding model of accordion when in very nice working condition.  The value of a good restored one is mostly in the restoration work which is not cheap!

Good luck with the sale,

PG
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martinpratt

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Re: Hohner Double Ray
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2013, 11:30:08 PM »

On these Double Ray boxes, the instrument key is stamped on the right hand end (bottom edge) of the RH keyboard.

It is likely to be H C which is German for B C in English. (Germans use key signatures B for B flat and H for B natural)

Any purchaser would want to know overall state (do all keys produce a clean note on push and pull) and what Key is it in.

I have a very similar model to yours and I picked it up for £100 at local auction, so don't expect a windfall.
If your instrument is HC key, it will not be in great demand as this key not used greatly in UK. Far more popular in Ireland.
 
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A319

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Re: Hohner Double Ray
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2013, 07:20:31 AM »

Many thanks for all your replies. In answer to your question it is stamped HC. I never noticed that was there before.

The accordion has been stored in dry places for all the years and shown no sign of anything other than normal wear and tear and all the buttons work. I'm not expecting to get much for it, but I would rather it be used than continuing to sit unloved in a cupboard. I am currently in France, but will be returning to Cheshire for a couple of weeks in January.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 08:08:20 AM by A319 »
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martinpratt

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Re: Hohner Double Ray
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2013, 12:31:25 PM »

Shove in on EBay as "buyer collects" for when you are in UK. You might be surprised at what offers you get. I would be interested to know what you finally get for it. Best of luck.
 
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Johnf

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Re: Hohner Double Ray
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2014, 04:07:26 PM »

I would not expect it to sell for more than 300 pounds, and that would be in excellent playable condition. I have seen them sell here in The States for up to $750 or so. Again, that is in refurbished excellent playing condition.
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