Old unknown Harmonica

Cape Hunter

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May 17, 2019
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Thought I would post this item by it's self. I have found many parts to harmonicas in the past. Most in very bad shape. Never dug up a complete one before. Found it a long the side of an old trail that goes back to late 1700's. I'm guessing mid to late to late 1800's for this one. But I don't know could be later. Looks to be mostly all brass. Quite heavy for just a 3 3/4" long instrument. Guys on the face do look old. Probably still has DNA on it. Anybody know about these?
 

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Upvote 11

Kenosha Kid

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Dec 13, 2010
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German, first word would match this one:


can’t track down the second word “Si...?...eds”

Registered Germany would be below those.

haven’t come up with the maker yet...
 
OP
Cape Hunter

Cape Hunter

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German, first word would match this one:


can’t track down the second word “Si...?...eds”

Registered Germany would be below those.

haven’t come up with the maker yet...
Many thanks for the info. Gives a closer idea of the age. Probably early 1900's. Wished it looked better.
 

Red-Coat

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It could well be late 1800s, or early 1900s. I think you’ll find the wording originally said: “Genuine Richter / Silver Reeds / Made in Germany”, like this one:

Richter.jpg


From 1879 onwards, America began to be flooded with German-made harmonicas using the “Richter” name. Some advertised in trade catalogues as “Genuine Richters”, some as “Regular Richters”, and some just as “Richters”. Often they carry no further indication of the actual maker and there were at least four German manufacturers using the name, with probably the first being Joseph Richter, founded in 1828 (although not originally as a harmonica maker). Those sold in America as “Genuine Richters” are usually associated with Anton Richter, but some sources say the actual manufacturer may have been Sydel and/or possibly Schunk. The one I’ve pictured was actually made by Gehr Ludwig, and is marked as such on the other side. The first connection of the Richter name to harmonicas seems to have been in the late 1850s (possibly 1857).

“Richter” became almost a generic for German export harmonicas and silver reeds (they were made from “German Silver”, not actual silver). Many of them have no indication of the true maker but carry various logos or fanciful “brand names”. No idea who the two dudes are on yours or who the actual maker might have been. It may not have been marked at all with anything other than a “brand”.
 
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OP
Cape Hunter

Cape Hunter

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It could well be late 1800s, or early 1900s. I think you’ll find the wording originally said: “Genuine Richter / Silver Reeds / Made in Germany”, like this one:

View attachment 1984786

From 1879 onwards, America began to be flooded with German-made harmonicas using the “Richter” name. Some advertised in trade catalogues as “Genuine Richters”, some as “Regular Richters”, and some just as “Richters”. Often they carry no further indication of the actual maker and there were at least four German manufacturers using the name, with probably the first being Joseph Richter, founded in 1828 (although not originally as a harmonica maker). Those sold in Americas as “Genuine Richters” are usually associated with Anton Richter, but some sources say the actual manufacturer may have been Sydel and/or possibly Schunk. The one I’ve pictured was actually made by Gehr Ludwig, and is marked as such on the other side. The first connection of the Richter name to harmonicas seems to have been in the late 1870s (possibly 1879).

“Richter” became almost a generic for German export harmonicas and silver reeds (they were made from “German Silver”, not actual silver). Many of them have no indication of the true maker but carry various logos or fanciful “brand names”. No idea who the two dudes are on yours or who the actual maker might have been. It may not have been marked at all with anything other than a “brand”.
Thank you Red Coat! Great find! I pretty much assumed that this harmonica belonged to someone living on a very poor soil farm here on Cape Cod. King George half pennies rule here. The area where it was found is just a sand pathway through dry brush. But the dates can go back from 1620's to now. I never know what I might find.

Is it ok is I can I pick your mind on this button I found? Post mid evil back Northumberland button with black thread. Found in recent dredgings from a small harbor channel next to the Kings Highway here. Also Found 30+ lead fishing weights as well, lol. Thread is amazing to be intact!
 

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Digger RJ

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Aug 24, 2017
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Thought I would post this item by it's self. I have found many parts to harmonicas in the past. Most in very bad shape. Never dug up a complete one before. Found it a long the side of an old trail that goes back to late 1700's. I'm guessing mid to late to late 1800's for this one. But I don't know could be later. Looks to be mostly all brass. Quite heavy for just a 3 3/4" long instrument. Guys on the face do look old. Probably still has DNA on it. Anybody know about these?
Nice!!! Congrats!!!
 

villagenut

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Oct 18, 2014
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All my harmonica finds are just bits and pieces.......so you did good on that one. I think they must explode after being in the ground a hundred years or more:laughing7:
 

billb

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Sep 23, 2010
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Thought I would post this item by it's self. I have found many parts to harmonicas in the past. Most in very bad shape. Never dug up a complete one before. Found it a long the side of an old trail that goes back to late 1700's. I'm guessing mid to late to late 1800's for this one. But I don't know could be later. Looks to be mostly all brass. Quite heavy for just a 3 3/4" long instrument. Guys on the face do look old. Probably still has DNA on it. Anybody know about these?
Congratulations on your nice recovery
 

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