Members


It is currently Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:06 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:16 am
Posts: 2
I was rummaging thru my late father things and found a harmonica. Unfortunately my digital camera does not work for me to upload a picture of it.

The harmonica is encased in a brown dark spotted case. When you open it the lining is green with red letters on the inside written "HOHNER" There are no other markings or lettering on the case itself.

the harmonica which feel heavy don't know if it is silver or what, it has 280 imprinted on the left side of the harmonica and C on the right. There is a large imprint on the harmonica right above the numbering. The imprint says :

chromatische mundharmonika
CHROMONIKA III
M. HOHNER


On the other side it has the following:
Trade Mark
in the middle there are 2 hands holding a star emblem then on each side there are like 4 circled symbols
then it has.. made in Germany M.HOHNER Can't make out the words on the rest.


Does anyone have a clue when this was made and how much it would be worth today. I remember seeing this harmonica around when I was a child back in the 60's, early 70's. Thank you


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:54 pm
Posts: 1772
Location: Sussex, Wisconsin, USA
Hello, Berfie.

Your dad's Hohner #280 Chromonika III was made sometime between 1930-1937. It isn't rare or even scarce. It's a model that's available at auction almost every day at ebay.

The money value of the harmonica will be established by the seller and buyer, not by a third person. Whatever price the seller and the buyer agree on, that is the harmonica's monetary value.

Here's some information about your dad's Chromonika III.

You have written that it has a brown, spotted case. Does it also have a brown spotted wood body, in the same spotted pattern?

The case, known as a "casket" by harmonica collectors, is solid wood with the spotted wood stain, and it has a hinge on the backside, and a sliding clasp on the front (player's) side.

At one time, it probably had the word, HOHNER, printed in gold ink, on the top of the casket. But that may have faded over the years.

The number 280 is the Hohner harmonica company's catalog number for the Chromonika III, made from circa 1930-1950?, and for the "64 Chromonica," made from circa 1930-present day.

After 1937, a few cosmetic changes were made to the Chromonika III, and materials changes made to the 64 Chromonica.

They are both the same harmonica, if made in the same years, but the Chromonika III was made for the German speaking countries, and the 64 Chromonica was made for the English speaking countries.

The only difference between the pre-1938 Chromonika III and the pre-1938 64 chromonica is the printing on the metal covers of the harmonicas.

The letter C stamped on your harmonica's cover is the music scale of the harmonica. The C is the "do" note of the C major scale, used on your Chromonika III. If you blow into the hole farthest to the left on the mouthpiece, with the slide button out and on the right side, the note sounded will be the C note.

In the German market countries:

"Chromattische Mundharmonika" means "Chromatic Mouth Harmonica" in English.

M.Hohner (Matthias Hohner, 1833-1902), founded the Hohner harmonica copmpany in Trossingen, Germany in 1857. Your chromattische mundharmonika was made at least 28 years after his death.

On the bottom metal harmonica cover, the Hohner company logo is stamped, with two hands surrounding a circle, which has a 6-pointed star in it's center. The German government asked Hohner to remove the star from the logo after 1937.

The spotted wood comb (harmonica body), spotted wood "casket," and the 6-pointed star in the logo are all indications that your Chromonika III was made before 1938.

The 4 circled symbols outside of the hands are award medallions presented to Hohner at various World's Fair Exhibitions. The medallions state the city and the year of each award.

Best Regards

John Broecker


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:16 am
Posts: 2
Quote:
he case, known as a "casket" by harmonica collectors, is solid wood with the spotted wood stain, and it has a hinge on the backside, and a sliding clasp on the front (player's) side.



Yes I forgot to mention that it is wooded casket and has a sliding clasp on the front w/ a long hinge in the back and the word "Chomomonika III" is imprinted on the left and Hohner is imprinted on the right both in Gold lettering but slightly faded into the wood stain casket.

Thank you very much


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:59 am
Posts: 2
Hi John, I have searched the site looking for information on my Dad's old Chromonika III & the description above is the closest I have found yet.
I can remember playing with this harmonica as a young kid in the 60's.
The case is wood with a slide clasp on the front & hinge on the back. Inside is lined with a yellowish felt type material with "HOHNER" stamped on the inside lid cover. The harmonica is a "C" Chromonika III, 16 holes, with the 6 point star on the back with 4 stamps. Two on either side of the star. The difference from the harmonica described above is that on the front, to the left of the Chromonika name is stamped '870'. I have google searched & the only thing that matched was an item on ebay that called it 'very rare' & yet the latest bid was one cent :lol:
I am not looking to sell this harmonica as it was my Dad's & has a lot of sentimental value to me. Although curious about it's worth, I am more interested in the history of it. Any information you can tell me is greatly appreciated.
Thank you
Monika :wink:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:54 pm
Posts: 1772
Location: Sussex, Wisconsin, USA
Hello, Monika.

Your described Hohner Chromonika III fits the description of the classic Chromonika III, except for the number "870" on the top cover (metal cover).

There are 2 possible answers for the number 870.

1. you may have mis-read the number. The standard Chromonika III has a Hohner catalog #280 reference number.

2. it may truly be a #870 Chromonika III, but I've never seen or heard of such a harmonica.

Your dad's Chromonika III has 16 holes in the mouthpiece. That means that the harmonica has 4 reeds in each hole, a total 64 reeds.
One pair of reeds in a hole is sounded (one exhale, one inhale) with the slide button out, and the other pair of reeds sounds (one exhale, one inhale) with the slider button pressed in.

The history of the Hohner #280, "64 Chromonica,"(English language version) starts circa 1928, and it has continued production through today. The " Hohner #280 Chromonika III," (German language version) starts circa the same year, 1928. The two harmonicas are identical, except for the metal covers, in English or German. They both have the same Hohner catalog number, #280.

Modern versions of the #280 include mylar plastic valves, and plastic body. Valves are white or clear Mylar plastic, attached the reed plates that have the reeds rivited on them. The older versions (your dad's harp) have leather valves. You'll see the valves under the open side of the metal covers. The leather valves decay after a few years, and may have been replaced with the mylar valves, first used circa 1950.

There are a few other changes on the modern #280 harp, including the mouthpiece shape and type of rivets used to hold the reeds to the plates. Your father's Chromonika III has nails holding the reed plates to the wood body. The newer versions use screws. Also, the new #280 has a different slider, with diagonal reed placement holes. Your father's Chromonika has a horizontal reed placement on the slider (all of the holes on the slider are opened when the slide button is out).

Best regards

John Broecker


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:32 am
Posts: 5
Hello,

This is a very old thread, but I too have a harmonica like Monika's stamped 870 rather than 280. Trying to find out more led me to this site...if any one has more information I'd be most grateful.

Tom


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:54 pm
Posts: 1772
Location: Sussex, Wisconsin, USA
Hello, Monika and Tom.

Without seeing pictures of your Chromonikas, it would be difficult to estimate their monetary value.
The $ value is determined by the buyer and seller. Whatever price is agreeable to both buyer and seller,
that is the money value of the harmonica.

I've checked both of my Hohner Chromonika III slide chromatic harmonicas. They don't have an "870"
stamped on the top cover. They are of the same era as your Chromonikas III.

It's a guess that the "870" may be an earlier (1928+) catalog number than my #280 models,
or, if it is a catalog number, it may have been different in German-language catalogs.

The 870 number is a mystery to me.

You might get an answer to the question at the Deutsches Harmonika Museum, Trossingen, Germany:

e-mail: info@harmonika-museum.de

Best Regards

John Broecker


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:32 am
Posts: 5
Hello John,

Thanks for your reply. The reference for the harmonica museum is really helpful and appreciated.This Harmonica was recently passed on to me from an uncle. It has sentimental rather than monetary value, and I hope it can be restored to its former glory. I've been learning to play a diatonic but keen on this chromatic too.

Have contacted the Hohner service department and will see if they can help with restoration.

Kind regards and thanks

Tom


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:54 pm
Posts: 1772
Location: Sussex, Wisconsin, USA
Hello, Tomrelf.

Be careful with your antique harmonica.

It is customary for Hohner to tell you that the parts aren't available for your Chromonika III, and they will offer to sell a new version to you, at a lower than retail
price, in trade for your harmonica.

Don't accept the offer. There are many independent harmonica restorers that will restore your harmonica. They get the parts from used Chromonikas, sold at ebay or Amazon, and will put the authentic parts onto your Chromonika III, in addition to cleaning, maintenance,tuning if needed, and other repairs.

It's probably true that Hohner doesn't have parts for a harmonica made in the late 1920s-1950s, but don't trade your harmonica. It has sentimental value to you, and it's therefore priceless.

Best Regards

John Broecker


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:32 am
Posts: 5
John,

That kind of advice is priceless in itself. Many thanks for you time and trouble.

Tom


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:31 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:59 am
Posts: 2
Hello again John, sorry it took me so long to get back but I have some pictures to show you of the harmonica. It sounds like Tomrelf has the same harmonica that I do.


Attachments:
File comment: Made in Germany
2013_0804harmonica0039.JPG
2013_0804harmonica0039.JPG [ 235.22 KiB | Viewed 5912 times ]
File comment: The harmonica & case are both in good shape.
2013_0804harmonica0034.JPG
2013_0804harmonica0034.JPG [ 136.78 KiB | Viewed 5912 times ]
File comment: I hadn't noticed until I uploaded pictures that there is another stamp partially hidden under the top plate. On the left side below the '870' stamp, I can see the top of another '870' stamp. You can see it in the picture.
2013_0804harmonica0035.JPG
2013_0804harmonica0035.JPG [ 154.17 KiB | Viewed 5912 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:02 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:32 am
Posts: 5
Yours is in better condition than mine, Monika, the slide button has snapped off it, but other than that and the extra stamp on the reed plate, we have a match. It's interesting that it has a 1937 award, if the star was removed in that year, as John suggests, it seems to date them quite specifically.

Tom.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:54 pm
Posts: 1772
Location: Sussex, Wisconsin, USA
Hello, Monika & Tom.

The Paris Exhibition of 1936-'37 is the most recent date that Hohner used the hexagon star
in it's hands & circles logo. After 1937, there is no star in the hands & circles logo.

So, your harmonicas' bottom covers were made at the latest in 1937,
after the award medallion of 1937 was presented to Hohner,
and before 1938, when the star was removed from the logo.

Other parts of the harmonicas may also be of the late 1937 vintage.
If the harmonicas look like the covers haven't been removed,
the entire harmonica may be of that vintage.

Check under the covers: remove the covers,
it's easy and safe, if you don't touch anything
under the covers. Just look.

If there are leather valves ("windsavers") on the reed plates above the reeds,
the valves are original parts(1910-1950?). If there are white plastic strips
(mylar) valves installed, your harmonica has been upgraded in the 1950s or later.

If you want to go further, you may check the reed rivets that hold the reeds to the reed plates.
Lightly, with an index finger, touch the valve by the reed's riveted end, checking for the shape of the rivet.
If the rivet heads are rounded and very small, the rivets are original parts. If the rivets are large and flat,
the reeds and reed plates may be older. If the rivets are flat, larger, and scored(like this: # ),
they are of a more recent vintage.

The "870" still puzzles me. While the covers are off, examine the 870 stamped on the reed plate,
as in your photo. It may be an additional clue. Contact Hohner for more information:

http://www.hohnerusa.com

Circa 2000 to today, Hohner has date-stamped their reed plates. An example would be 070613,
translated to 2007,June 13. Notice that the 2-digit year is first, then the month and day.

The 870 might be a product batch number, but that's another guess.

Best Regards

John Broecker


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:32 am
Posts: 5
Hello John,

Apologies for the long delay in replying. Followed your advice regarding having a look without the covers on, and it looks like mine is all original, leather valves and rivets as you described from the period. Speaking to my Dad It seems my Uncle may have "liberated" this while he was in Europe during WW2 - probably the least said about that the better....

I contacted Hohner, who, as you said - don't have parts to renovate it , no offer to trade it in, but that makes no difference to me. Thanks for taking the time and trouble to share all this information, if I ever find out opabout the mysterious 870 stamp I'll post again.

Regards

Tom


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group