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Author Topic: "Antique" Store Finds  (Read 10278 times)

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melodeon

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"Antique" Store Finds
« on: November 26, 2009, 06:08:25 PM »

So often I will find an accordeon in an "antique" store that defies comprehension.
A recent example would be yesterday.

First, "antique" has taken on new meaning.  When I was a kid we had real antique stores and also separate and distinct were
junk shops or trading posts.. or resale shops..all selling used "stuff.  Now used stuff has become "antiques".

So, I hear from a friend that there is a 2 row Hohner in an "antique" store and a friend of his is interested in it and wants to play "Cajun" music"... so I went to the store....
.. you know, the mall type of store where there are dozens of vendors each with their own booth... I drove 42 miles .. and this is what I found:

A 2 row Hohner.. early type with a stepped keyboard.  Cheap thin tin corners with a decal of good old M Hohner on each of the 4 on front of the chassis.

I picked it up and the bellows flew open and a ratty strap broke.. the other was missing except for an inch of its anchored end.
Pearl buttons with screws in the centers..  erzats reddish brown finish to make the poplar look like mahogany... the grille was in good shape and the best part of the box.  The frames were secured to the bellows frames with those swivel hooks  so I popped the treble side open... wow man!   holy   spit... how cool...   brass reeds on zinc frames... and look at that patina... how did they get that wonderful green and white fuzz... and how did they curl those little bits of leather...and the brown powder all over those little wood thingees

On removing the grille I noted that the clacking gave a certain rhythm when pressed and released... wood on wood does have a special sound all its own... and the hairballs and dust do make for a mellow timbre

The bass was exceptional in that you could get about 8 reeds moving at the same time... I suppose that is the HELL ikon bass...

On a ten point scale for condition I would give it a 1 1/2 as being all there with one broken frame hook

BTW it was in the keys of Bb/Eb

The tag read:   " Wonderful and rare antique concertina from the 19th Century..   $125 "

I was oh so fortunate to have the actual vendor and store manager there at the same time..in an effort to secure the accordeon at a fair price..I explained to them the actual condition, that this was an inexpensive when new instrument  that it was brass reeded and a few other details...
I wrote this all out for them....
They asked me its value.. I suggested $15 would be fair but ask $25 as a restaurant might need something for decor.
They thanked me and declined my generous offer... I left
And as I left I looked back into the shop to see the vendor wad up, crush and toss my note in the trash.

Due to the increasing number of complaints about our free service,
There will be no more free (reed) service.

I understand that not everyone has information about accordeons, I know a little now but knew absolutely nothing 15 years ago.
When someone gave me some information, I thanked them, certainly did not dismiss them or the information with an overt demonstration of contempt.

It is obvious, like our favorite ebay seller,  that first and foremost is making a buck.

I suppose I will continue to offer information.. but the first thing I did when I left was call my friend and give him my observations...
oh   did I mention he is an "antique" dealer ..

Anyone else have similar experiences ?


« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 06:13:09 PM by melodeon »
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upmine3

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2009, 06:48:24 PM »


Anyone else have similar experiences ?





Yes on E-Bay every day.
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Owen Woods

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2009, 06:55:28 PM »

It's always sad how people seek to delude people into spending lots of money on junk. Especially musical instruments, where the condition really does matter dreadfully.
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Theo

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2009, 07:01:46 PM »

Its not always so bad.  I had a phone call last week from the manager of a charity shop.  She had been give an ancient 120 bass piano accordion and wanted advice about its value.  From the verbal description I gave my best estimate, it was fairly low.  The shop manager thanked me and said my information was very helpful, that they knew nothing about accordions and found my advice helpful.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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Ollie

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2009, 07:58:37 PM »

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ACE

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2009, 08:16:21 PM »

I saw an old box in the window of a shop that sold 'left luggage'. I asked to have a quick look and could hardly touch it because the window was in full sun and the melodeon was being cooked. I advised the shop keeper that the reeds were likely to be held in with wax and leaving it in that heat would not do it any favours. I decided not  open the bellows for a try out just in case  the reeds were loose.

It was back in the window later on in the day. So much for giving helpful advice.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 08:21:13 PM by ACE »
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LJC

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2009, 09:42:23 PM »

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Lars

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2009, 10:32:28 PM »

I found both my fiddles at flea markets tagged way too high for their conditions. I haggled them both below half the asking price, and they turned out great.

On the other hand - I've got 7 playing boxes, all of which are high end vintage boxes, and I've bought 6 of them at flea markets and on ebay for good prices. All needing major work, but still favorable prices.

Around here, old melodeons are very rare at flea markets, but when they turn up the asking price is actually most often quite reasonable. Exept some time ago when a guy wanted close to 500 pounds sterling for an old hohner one row in terrible condition. It was 'musical memorabilia' he claimed.
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Theo

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2009, 10:40:14 PM »

I find that genuine antique dealers actually expect to haggle, its a bit of a game and can be fun, you may not be able to agree a price but thats life.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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Fungusface

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2009, 10:47:48 PM »

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Owen Woods

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2009, 12:42:37 AM »


Will you stop going on about that? :P

I did consider trying to get instruments off've Freecycle, but then I considered that if they were crap then I'd most likely throw them away or put them on ebay for a penny and state quite clearly that they were crap and if they were nice I'd advice the people to sell it... so I wouldn't get anything out of it.
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ACE

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2009, 10:33:14 AM »

Two huge great hohner clubs came my way once for nothing. I was busking in the street when an old Lady who sounded foreign came and spoke to me when I was having a break. It turned out that she and her sister used to do a variety act on the german stage using 'accordians'.She said she had not played for years as the 'accordians' were too heavy. She liked my playing and asked if I would like the old 'accordians' Even though I did not play PA I thought they might be handy for anybody in the morris side who wanted to have a go. They turned out to be Club melodeons in brass band tuning F and B# if I  remember right, but one of them was Baritone a really rich deep rasping sound. Lovely for omph pa pa accompaniment, but useless for anything else. Unless you were performing 'The molecatchers daughter' ;D

They were not really any good for the novice morris dancer trying to learn a few tunes so we traded them in for a couple of D/G pokerworks. I often wonder where they ended up.
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Ellie

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2009, 11:02:22 AM »

Funny you should say that. I was offered an accordian (for free!) by an odd little irish chap when I was playing at the box office at Wychwood Festival earlier this year. He wanted it to be played rather than just sitting around, Gave me a phone number and everything. I was a bit freaked out by it all though, and just put the number in my bag and forgot about it  :-[ Maybe I should have contacted him after all!

Owen Woods

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2009, 11:22:01 AM »

I dream about someone giving me a free instrument.
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HallelujahAl

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2009, 11:24:35 AM »

Quote
I was offered an accordian (for free!) by an odd little irish chap when I was playing at the box office at Wychwood Festival earlier this year.


There is a God!!! That little Irish fellow was an angel in disguise  ;D
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Theo

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2009, 01:26:22 PM »

I dream about someone giving me a free instrument.

I was given a fiddle a couple of years ago.  A friend moved into a house and found two fiddles in the attic, and wanted advice about where to get one set up for their daughter to learn on.  I sent them to luthier where they were advised which one would be best.  The other according to the luthier was a non standard shape, which was then given to me as a thank you.  I spent some time cleaning it, and under the dust inside I found a pencilled inscription "Joseph Hall, Morpeth 1917".  I was delighted to learn that it is locally made though I can't find out anything about the maker.  It looks somewhat rustic, but it sounds great.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2009, 06:06:03 PM »

There's a short story by Spike Milligan cancerning a tramp who goes into a shop and askes whether they will give him anything for his old fiddle.  The shop owner takes one look at the fiddle and sees straight way that , although it is rather dirty and scratched, it is an antique Italian instrument.  He says to the tramp that it can't be worth much, but if he comes back in a week's time he'll have it valued.  He does his research and it turns out to be a Stradivarius worth around �40,000.  The shop owner rubs his hands together with glee and greed.

Anyway the tramp comes back after a week, and the shop owner says he's sorry, but the fiddle isn't worth much, and as an act of charity (he wasn't a totally bad man) he'll give him �40.  He tramp looks a bit crestfallen and says he'd hoped for a wee bit more.

"what had you be hoping for?" says the shop owner.

"Well", says the tramp, "something around the �40,000 mark..........
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 03:55:52 PM by Clive Williams »
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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2009, 09:04:27 PM »

Quote
I was offered an accordian (for free!) by an odd little irish chap when I was playing at the box office at Wychwood Festival earlier this year.


There is a God!!! That little Irish fellow was an angel in disguise  ;D

That was the leprachaun who borrowed my box to learn a few tunes and vanished
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Stiamh

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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2009, 10:15:00 PM »

Another Irishman gave someone I know a 4-v 1960s Paolo Soprani in D/D# after she told him casually that she was thinking of taking up the accordion...

As luck would have it she's not interested in Irish style playing but is exploring French music on the G/C. She didn't seem terribly interested in acting the leprechaun on my behalf though.  :-\
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Re: "Antique" Store Finds
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2009, 02:16:30 PM »

If I can't try out an instrument, I am not going to buy it.
Some stores see everything as a valuable antique even if it is smells like it has been in a damp basement or rattles like it was stored in a hot attic.

Often just picking up an accordion and hearing all of the reeds sound at the same time is enough for me to reject it.
If it is extremely cheap I might buy it for parts.

Some antique dealers enjoy hearing me play. Often I will buy the box after my impromptu concert if the price and playablity are reasonable.

If the dealer refuses to allow me to evaluate the condition of the box, it goes back on the shelf or in the hot store-front window.

 
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