• If you haven't done so already, please add a location to your profile. This helps when people are trying to assist you, suggest resources, etc. Thanks

Woman with an Accordion, daguerreotype 1840s: Is this the first picture of an accordion?

AccordionUprising

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2014
Messages
348
Reaction score
12
Location
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Anybody know when the first photo of an accordion was taken?

I have no idea if it was this one. But it's got to be some time after 1840 or so.

I wrote about the question here:

Woman with an Accordion daguerreotype 1840s.jpeg

Perhaps more interesting: What kind of accordion is that? I'd love to see better photos and descriptions of similar designs. It's got those pallet-rods split like there's not enough room to fit all the reeds. What's going on there? It doesn't look like a standard early French "flutina" design. Maybe an early German box? I'd love to hear any ideas.

Woman with an Accordion daguerreotype 1840s, detail.jpeg

The original is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Woman with an Accordion daguerreotype 1840s, in frame.jpeg
 

Gonk

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2020
Messages
93
Reaction score
40
Location
Maine, USA
Really interesting, what a weird instrument. I agree that the split is odd. Perhaps this was meant to be played like a flutina, but with both hands on the same side, and the split is intended to accommodate the other hand so it can play what appears to be a row of buttons. But presumably if this were the case it would need to be anchored, perhaps strapped to a leg, which would be hard with that fashionable dress on.

On further thinking: perhaps it's only meant to be played with one hand (two would be very awkward) but the fingers could reach up to the top row of buttons, without risk of hitting pallets.

If it's useful, I zoomed in on the original and tried to clean it up a bit:hi_res.png
 
Last edited:

jozz

Prolific poster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
1,429
Reaction score
149
Location
The Netherlands
I guess they were still experimenting a lot back then?

Looks like thumbstrap on top of the larger one. Left hand plays the melody? Maybe not uncommon during those days.

Could be the routing of air for the off-set valves is different to attempt another 'sound'.
 

TomBR

Prolific poster
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2013
Messages
1,006
Reaction score
64
Location
SE. Gloucestershire UK
The thumbstrap might be just swivelled round, but actually suited to right hand playing. As Gonk suggested (I think) the offsetting of the pallet levers could be to keep clear of the players wrist.
 

Similar threads

Top