Melodeon.net Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Welcome to the new melodeon.net forum

Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down

Author Topic: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box  (Read 5269 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

triskel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3256
  • Learning all the time...
Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« on: September 19, 2017, 01:50:00 AM »

It's not often these days that late 1940's Italian 23-key, 3-voice, button boxes (better still, with flat keyboards!) turn up for sale, in any condition, so I've been delighted to pick up two very promising "project" ones (a "Delfini", and now a "Fipaccordion") in the past fortnight - when I've been looking out for one for the past few years.

I commented on:

... the square front corners of the keyboard cover [of the Delfini] - a feature that is only otherwise to be found on the (seemingly early?) Orfeo in Wishaw.

And Paul Groff responded with a link to an image of two late '40's boxes he has that share that feature, along with the same black/silver/black piping that surrounds the grille and keyboard of the Delfini:


Here are a couple of mystery accordions that also seem to be 1940s and with square keyboard cover. The blue one turned up in Boston, the tortoise-shell one (labeled "Bell") in London:

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=5861.0;attach=8896;image

And then the Fipaccordion turned up, bearing a strong resmblance to Paul's unnamed blue one in that photo!  :o :


And, blow me, hasn't another one turned up today (out of a Northern Ireland attic) that is very similar to Paul Groff's blue one, and engraved "Fipaccordion, Castelfidardo" - whoever, or whatever, they were, or might have been...  :o


The only other trace of the ["Fipaccordion"] marque I can find is this piano box (which seems to have hints of Busilacchio - especially in its grille pattern and the way the "maker's name" is applied) that was on Australian eBay recently: Accordion FIPACCORDION Castelfidardo Made in Italy


Got it! The major clue is in the initials and date, in a triangle on the back of the keyboard: PF 1889 = Pasquale Ficosecco, a firm founded in Loreto in 1889, who moved to Castelfidardo in 1927. It must be a brand of theirs...


... I think the Fipaccordion [button box] must be even rarer [than the Delfini] - and I'm waiting to get the invoice for that one tonight too. ;)  (It's like buses, you don't see one for ages and then along comes a bunch of them!  ::))

So now it's bought and paid for, and a third omnibus came along today too - in the shape of a c.1950 catalogue for Ficosecco/Fipaccordion that coincidentally turned up on American eBay - which I also felt compelled to purchase...  ???

And, for that matter, I bought a 1950's CATALOGO FISARMONICHE BAGNINI from Italy on Saturday because it has pictures of piano accordions that have similarities to Casali/Busilacchio boxes.

This is getting seriously MAD, and even showing hints that I may be entering a melodeon Twilight Zone! The coincidences keep piling up, what's going to be next? :o :o :o  (A bunch of old Busilacchio and Orfeo catalogues would be nice! Or is that too much to hope for?  :-\)
« Last Edit: September 23, 2017, 06:58:29 PM by triskel »
Logged

Pearse Rossa

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 308
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2017, 06:34:24 AM »

... I think the Fipaccordion [button box] must be even rarer ....

It has a very definite 'Irish-American' look about it.
Any idea what the key of this one is?
I expect that it might have a 'D' row.
Logged

pgroff

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1518
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2017, 08:52:07 AM »

... I think the Fipaccordion [button box] must be even rarer ....

It has a very definite 'Irish-American' look about it.
Any idea what the key of this one is?
I expect that it might have a 'D' row.

Hi Pearse Rossa

I'd say the Fipaccordion is more "fancy mid-20th century Italian," and would predict it to be quint tuned (G/C, F/Bb etc). It might have a D row if it's in A/D or D/G, but not necessarily. Of course, that's only a prediction!

You're absolutely correct to notice a similarity. There is overlap between the Fipaccordion type and the Irish-American boxes -- see for example the unusual, big, stepped-board D/G Baldoni-Bartoli here: 
http://www.tedmcgraw.com/Baldoni_-_1940s_+_files/BigBaldoni1.jpg
http://www.tedmcgraw.com/Baldoni_-_1940s_+_files/BigBaldoni6.jpg

But generally during this time period the vast majority of Irish-American boxes had:

* bigger buttons (compared to the Fipaccordion or to that atypical D/G Baldoni-Bartoli)

* fewer basses (unusual to have 8 or more)

* more specific engraving, projecting ethnic, national and individual identity (Irish and American flags, shamrocks, sometimes a harp rather than a lyre, and often an owner's name of Irish origin).

The blue unlabeled box I posted above (that I acquired as a project from Tosi Music in Boston's North End, a traditional Italian district) was in E/ A. (BTW, that one is a 4-voice). The brown tortoiseshell box (with Bell label, from London) in the same photo is in C/F.  The "Armindo Luciani" box shown below (formerly in Alex Carozza's "accordion museum" collection) is probably labeled with the name of the player, who is known,  and is in Eb / Ab. That one might have been actually made by Ficosecco too, or any one of a number of other makers.

Compare other fancy, round-bodied, engraved-celluloid boxes from the late 1930s - 1940s that we've discussed on this forum, by Ficosecco, A. Guerrini, etc.  A search will pull them up I think, or if not I can post the links.

What is a little unusual about the boxes triskel has discussed in this thread (his new Fipaccordion and the similar Delfini etc) is their flat rectangular keyboard plate; in my experience, most of the Italian round-bodied, fancy engraved celluloid boxes with this general "look" have had stepped keyboards, like the Armindo Luciani.

PG
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 10:00:22 AM by pgroff »
Logged

triskel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3256
  • Learning all the time...
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2017, 10:43:27 AM »

... I think the Fipaccordion [button box] must be even rarer ....

It has a very definite 'Irish-American' look about it.

It's fancy enough (in fact I said as much when describing it on Saturday night), but it has the wrong detailing - you need clichés like shamrocks, a tricolour and stars and stripes, and a harp for that...  ;)

Quote
Any idea what the key of this one is?

I have absolutely no idea on this one. As Paul says, it looks more like it was made as an Italian-model box with that decoration, only it appears like it has (or had!) a flat keyboard.

I'd love to know the story of how it came to finish up in an attic in Craigavon...  ???

Quote
I expect that it might have a 'D' row.

It'd be nice if it did (I've already got the C# reeds!), but I wouldn't put money on it.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 12:25:06 PM by triskel »
Logged

triskel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3256
  • Learning all the time...
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2017, 11:33:43 AM »


The blue unlabeled box I posted above (that I acquired as a project from Tosi Music in Boston's North End, a traditional Italian district) was in E/ A. (BTW, that one is a 4-voice).

Would I be right in thinking it has a "toggle-switch" coupler mechanism?
Logged

triskel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3256
  • Learning all the time...
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2017, 12:01:25 PM »


The "Armindo Luciani" box shown below (formerly in Alex Carozza's "accordion museum" collection) is probably labeled with the name of the player, who is known,  and is in Eb / Ab. That one might have been actually made by Ficosecco too, or any one of a number of other makers.

Is that a lyre in the middle of the grille? If so, it may be like the grille on Fishfeathersmacteeth's Orfeo - a firm whose emblem was (naturally!) a lyre: Orfeo 80-bass
Logged

pgroff

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1518
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2017, 12:39:24 PM »


The blue unlabeled box I posted above (that I acquired as a project from Tosi Music in Boston's North End, a traditional Italian district) was in E/ A. (BTW, that one is a 4-voice).

Would I be right in thinking it has a "toggle-switch" coupler mechanism?

I traded for this box as an incomplete project. I've never had the original grille or switch knob, but there's a coupler mechanism among the pallets (originally to be connected to a switch in the grille, above the keyboard) that can still be moved by hand. I don't have access to that box this week (things are still disorganized here after hurricane Irma gave us a glancing blow), but will post a photo when I can. It came to me originally in E / A, voiced MMMM / MMM but with a lot of reeds missing. It's currently set up as a G box in LMMM (Paolo Soprani G reeds in the outside row, and one button reeded up in the inside row for the F natural).

PG
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 01:06:21 PM by pgroff »
Logged

pgroff

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1518
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2017, 12:48:30 PM »


The "Armindo Luciani" box shown below (formerly in Alex Carozza's "accordion museum" collection) is probably labeled with the name of the player, who is known,  and is in Eb / Ab. That one might have been actually made by Ficosecco too, or any one of a number of other makers.

Is that a lyre in the middle of the grille? If so, it may be like the grille on Fishfeathersmacteeth's Orfeo - a firm whose emblem was (naturally!) a lyre: Orfeo 80-bass

Yes, similar. As you know, a similar lyre is often seen in the middle of stamped metal grilles on Italian boxes.

Logged

triskel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3256
  • Learning all the time...
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2017, 02:25:35 PM »


I don't have access to that box this week (things are still disorganized here after hurricane Irma gave us a glancing blow), but will post a photo when I can.

Ah, yes! Some friends of mine in Titusville got hit and put out of action for a few weeks, and another firm I've had dealings with were affected too.

No panic on that one, just curiosity, only they do tend to suggest a slightly earlier date...
Logged

Pearse Rossa

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 308
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2017, 02:40:51 PM »

... I think the Fipaccordion [button box] must be even rarer ....
It has a very definite 'Irish-American' look about it.
... it has the wrong detailing - you need clichés like shamrocks, a tricolour and stars and stripes, and a harp for that...  ;)
I'd love to know the story of how it came to finish up in an attic in Craigavon...  ???

Craigavon? That would certainly explain the absence of shamrocks, a tricolour, etc!
Were it to have shamrocks and a tricolour, that would explain it being hidden away in an attic!
Was this one a 'parade accordion' I wonder?
It would be unusual. They were mostly Hohners and Paolos.

I'd say the Fipaccordion is more "fancy mid-20th century Italian," and would predict it to be quint tuned (G/C, F/Bb etc). It might have a D row if it's in A/D or D/G, but not necessarily. Of course, that's only a prediction!....

I'm sure you are right.
Logged

triskel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3256
  • Learning all the time...
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2017, 03:14:39 PM »


Yes, similar. As you know, a similar lyre is often seen in the middle of stamped metal grilles on Italian boxes.

Yes "generic" lyres are relatively commonplace, on older-style boxes, but in this case it would be a "trade mark" lyre and suggest that Orfeo may have built it.

This is their badge on a later (1960's?) piano box:
Logged

hickory-wind

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 290
  • Lives in NY USA near the Erie Canal
    • Bellingers' Button Boxes
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2017, 12:56:35 PM »

Compare other fancy, round-bodied, engraved-celluloid boxes from the late 1930s - 1940s that we've discussed on this forum, by Ficosecco, A. Guerrini, etc.  A search will pull them up I think, or if not I can post the links.

PG

Here are some A.Guerrini & Figli that indeed look similar. Red is 2 voice in AD; green is 3 voice in AD. The latter is restored/tuned and sounds fabulous. My only complaint is the bass buttons are small.

Scott

BellingersButtonBoxes.com

Logged
too many boxes...please buy one, or two, or

triskel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3256
  • Learning all the time...
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2017, 05:56:31 PM »


So now it's bought and paid for ...

And now I've heard the Fipaccordion got posted on Thursday, so I should get it sometime next week - and I'll report on it (with photos) when I do.  (:)
Logged

triskel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3256
  • Learning all the time...
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2017, 07:07:25 PM »


Here are some A.Guerrini & Figli that indeed look similar. ... My only complaint is the bass buttons are small.

Yes, they certainly have similarities, whoever actually made any of them...  ???

And the Fipaccordion has those tiny black bass buttons too - I think I'll be investing in a replacement set of these black 11.9mm ones (they should be a decent match for the treble ones) off Charlie: http://www.cgmmusical.co.uk/CGM_Musical_Services/Treble_Bass_Buttons.html#8
Logged

triskel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3256
  • Learning all the time...
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2017, 12:33:00 AM »


... a third omnibus came along today too - in the shape of a c.1950 catalogue for Ficosecco/Fipaccordion that coincidentally turned up on American eBay - which I also felt compelled to purchase...  ???

And today it arrived in the post, with two pages of button accordions that the eBay seller hadn't bothered to scan, or even mention - so I've scanned them for you (below).

The streamlined model looks remarkably similar to Paul's "Armindo Luciani" box, only it has two toggle-switch couplers in the (same-design) grille, whilst the description says "These accordions are built with cases covered in celluloid of any colour and richly engraved with pearls, machine made reeds of the finest quality. The keyboard [sic] are made generally with steps, buttons, in matherpearl [sic] or pearloid, but with orders they may be made with keyboard covered with plate of metal or with piano keys, without any change of price."

So it sounds/looks like the flat aluminium keyboard plate and slotted aluminium-sheet grille I was considering (like the new "grey-box" one I've got!) would be perfectly in keeping with the Fipaccordion.

I hope the instrument itself might arrive tomorrow - fingers crossed!  (:)
Logged

pgroff

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1518
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2017, 12:42:35 AM »

Very cool, thanks triskel.

The reeds in my "Armindo Luciani" are really nice quality and I'd say they are either TAM or a mano - with hand-hammered rivet heads and the tonghes very well hand-profiled and fitted.  They also are remarkably responsive and crisp sounding despite the very low key of this accordion. And it's a 3 voice MMM box, with no switches. But I've seen other Ficoseccos similar to the ones in your catalog - often with one-off fancy decorations and fancy types of celluloid.

Here's a Ficosecco that was formerly in the same "museum" collection as my Armindo Luciani - at Alex Accordion in NYC:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5pcYLxxy8Pk/T2paB_9jtvI/AAAAAAAAAfw/0cDCDcsdB0Q/s1600/Alex+Ficosecco+Accordion.jpg

In my opinion, the dates assigned to instruments in Alex Carozza's collection may not always have been accurate.

In other threads here we've discussed some other Ficoseccos, really very interesting instruments especially in the decade or two after WW2.

PG
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 12:46:24 AM by pgroff »
Logged

triskel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3256
  • Learning all the time...
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2017, 01:44:36 AM »

The catalogue describes itself, on its front cover (first photo), as being of "FIPACCORDION" del Cav. Pasquale Ficosecco, with the proprietor's name given as Cesare Ficosecco, though all the instruments illustrated in it seem to be badged P. Ficosecco.

Fipaccordion appears in the CHRONOLOGY OF PRODUCTION OF ITALIAN ACCORDIONS in 1951, continuing until 1962, "di Cesare Ficosecco".

Whilst the third page of the catalogue mentions the "P. F. 1889 - Made in Italy" badge I spotted on the back of the Fipaccordion PA that I came across, listed in Australia.
Logged

triskel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3256
  • Learning all the time...
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2017, 02:07:49 AM »


The catalogue describes itself, on its front cover (first photo), as being of "FIPACCORDION" del Cav. Pasquale Ficosecco, with the proprietor's name given as Cesare Ficosecco, though all the instruments illustrated in it seem to be badged P. Ficosecco

Oh, and there's also a lyre on the front cover, between the portraits of Cesare and Pasquale Ficosecco...
Logged

pgroff

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1518
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 08:04:55 PM by pgroff »
Logged

triskel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3256
  • Learning all the time...
Re: Fipaccordion 1940's fancy 3-voice button box
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2017, 02:48:40 AM »

It's sounding like Ficosecco had a particular thing about lyres, as well as Orfeo, but it's very unusual (for me at least) to see them on streamlined accordions.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up
 


Melodeon.net - (c) Theo Gibb; Clive Williams 2010. The access and use of this website and forum featuring these terms and conditions constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.