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Newbie here, need help identifying my accordion.

cantomagica

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I have this accordion and I have no idea what it is, where it was made, how old it is, how much it's worth, etc. I am wondering if anyone can identify it.
 

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Walker

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Good evening @cantomagica, and what a charming piano accordion you have. It's in the antique style of the early 20th century. I like the ornate grill with the delightful little songbirds perched on the swirling metalwork. Likewise we have the angular bass end typical of the period and the lovely carved foliage on either end of the bass. Another little feature on the edges of the treble keyboard is that marvellous stylised 'wings'. Overall a very photogenic accordion, finished off with these elegant and narrow piano keys. Unfortunately, without seeing the makers name on the case it is difficult to establish it's provenance. As for value, that would largely depend on the name, condition throughout and playability. If this were a 1920s Dallape in good condition, it may be worth a few hundred pounds to the right collector. However, without any indication of it's maker, age or condition, your guess is as good as mine.​
 
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Dingo40

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Welcome cantomagica 🙂
As Walker has already indicated, on the face of it, your instrument is in a very old style, possibly from the 1920s.
Usually, unless having received care and regular servicing over the intervening years, like instruments are in very poor internal condition as to playability although sometimes restorable as a labour of love: much as antique cars or furniture.🙂
Is it playable?
 

Gonk

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http://www.accordions.co.uk/Pre-WarInstruments.htm Emilio Allodi in the UK wrote some thoughts on prewar accordions, I often recommend reading this to folks who have acquired one by chance. I like them; I often find they have lovely singing reeds and a lot of character to their sound. They also tend to be rather clacky, in need of keybed lining, pallet resurfacing, and complete reedwork. It's a labor of love and money, and it's not a "good idea" from an investment standpoint -- you'd have to love it and want to play it! And of course you can play it as is and enjoy the "free percussion section" and occasional wuffly or wonky note.
 

Walker

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I once read that the last truly and utterly hand made reeds (in the purest sense of the term) were from these older generation accordions of the 1920s and 1930s. I think that's why the best of the antique type instruments can have this incredibly vibrant and singing voice that you have identified. I couldn't agree with you more, Gonk. I sense the reeds may have been crafted from different alloys than later reeds too. Don't get me wrong, I think the pinnacle of accordion quality was still in the 1950s, but there was some real magic to be found in the 90 or 100 year old accordions too. It's a shame they are not more highly valued.
 

Tom

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Welcome Canto! Nice looking accordion. Unfortunately these older (pre WW2) accordions can be lovely but often require more work than value. Yours may be in great, playable shape, I don't know. In my neck of the woods (Wisconsin) all of these I have tried or restored have more value as a collector/display piece because of the age/deterioration issue. The values are therefore generally $100 or less. Could be twice that if in very good playable condition. My advice is to learn to play it if possible.
 

cantomagica

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Good evening @cantomagica, and what a charming piano accordion you have. It's in the antique style of the early 20th century. I like the ornate grill with the delightful little songbirds perched on the swirling metalwork. Likewise we have the angular bass end typical of the period and the lovely carved foliage on either end of the bass. Another little feature on the edges of the treble keyboard is that marvellous stylised 'wings'. Overall a very photogenic accordion, finished off with these elegant and narrow piano keys. Unfortunately, without seeing the makers name on the case it is difficult to establish it's provenance. As for value, that would largely depend on the name, condition throughout and playability. If this were a 1920s Dallape in good condition, it may be worth a few hundred pounds to the right collector. However, without any indication of it's maker, age or condition, your guess is as good as mine.​
Thank you! You are so eloquent in your description of this accordion. It was the first thing I read this morning and it was like poetry to me. I will look harder to find a maker's name. Again, thank you, I am grateful for your response. Oh, and I would love to learn to play this!
 

cantomagica

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Welcome cantomagica 🙂
As Walker has already indicated, on the face of it, your instrument is in a very old style, possibly from the 1920s.
Usually, unless having received care and regular servicing over the intervening years, like instruments are in very poor internal condition as to playability although sometimes restorable as a labour of love: much as antique cars or furniture.🙂
Is it playable?
I know it makes sounds when you open and shut it, and it changes sound when you press the keys but I haven't really messed with it a whole bunch. I figured it needs cleaning and I didn't want anything to break by simply messing around with it. It is a very beautiful instrument and I am trying to learn as much as I can about it. I would love to play it someday but even as a novice I can clearly see it needs some love and attention. I thank you for your time and information. Anything, at this point, will help me identify it.
 

cantomagica

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http://www.accordions.co.uk/Pre-WarInstruments.htm Emilio Allodi in the UK wrote some thoughts on prewar accordions, I often recommend reading this to folks who have acquired one by chance. I like them; I often find they have lovely singing reeds and a lot of character to their sound. They also tend to be rather clacky, in need of keybed lining, pallet resurfacing, and complete reedwork. It's a labor of love and money, and it's not a "good idea" from an investment standpoint -- you'd have to love it and want to play it! And of course you can play it as is and enjoy the "free percussion section" and occasional wuffly or wonky note.
Yes, it sounds expensive to service. I don't know how anyone couldn't get it serviced though. It's just so beautiful. Thank you for the link. I very much enjoyed reading about the pre-war accordions!
 

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