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Accordion

Alexandre Pere & Fils

Date:
1850–55
Geography:
Paris, France
Medium:
Wood, metal, various other materials
Dimensions:
App. dimensions (closed): 38.5 x 13.5 x 17.5 cm (15 x 5¼ x7 in.)
Classification:
Aerophone-Free Reed-concertina / accordion
Credit Line:
Funds from various donors, 1998
Accession Number:
1998.70
  • Description

    This instrument is profusely decorated with foliate designs in blue, green, pink and white enamel-like mastic with brass and tortoiseshell inlays. The twenty-four mother-of-pearl keys each operate two notes (one on push and a second on pull). The multifold bellows are lined with embossed silver foil bearing green flocking.

    In the 1830s, Paris became a major center of accordion production, which flourished until the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. To compete with makers in Austria and Germany, Paris manufacturers successfully marketed their instruments by applying rich and costly decoration. This instrument follows a model by Demian of 1831, and is one of two surviving instrument of this type to have a second button row for the accidentals, it is therefore known as a "Paris accordions perfectionnes" or a "perfected" accordion. Only two such instruments are known to exist.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Marking: (Inscribed inside) "W. P. Coles"and "Charles P. Brown / from mother / 1858"and assembly numbers 501, 17, 55.

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
503502

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