The sale of items from the legendary late collector set new participation records for a Sotheby’s UK auction.
|Antique Hohner Harmonicas are musical instruments produced by the German company Hohner.
History and Description
Hohner (Hohner Musikinstrumente GmbH & Co. KG) was founded in 1857 by Matthias Hohner. Although they make a variety of musical instruments they are particularly associated with harmonicas, and have made most of those used by professional performers. Matthias began hand-making harmonicas with the help of his wife.
The instruments quickly became popular, and Matthias went on the build the largest harmonica factory in the world. During the American Civil War, the couple sent harmonicas to family members in America. Although the last family member to work for the company left in 1986, Hohner still produce over one million harmonicas each year.
Guide For Collectors
The most prized harmonicas are boxed and unused. Although they were widely sold, used models are not highly desirable because of considerations of hygiene. Collectors should also check the materials used as antique models contain no plastic.
An exception to the general rule of unused harmonicas being of high value, is that signed models known to have been used by iconic musicians, carry very high prices.
There is a huge amount of information on antique Hohners, and several international collectors clubs, such as patmissin.com, which offers an overview of antique harmonicas and gives a very basic guide to possible values, and harmonica.co.uk, which gives a wealth of information, including care and repair, as well as where to purchase.
In March 2012 hohnerusa.com showcased an exhibition of vintage harmonicas.
A Hohner Harmonica in box was sold by Old Barn Auction for $55 in October 2011.
An M. Hohner 'Hohnerphone' Harmonica was sold by William J. Jenack Auctioneers for $60 in December 2003.
An M. Hohner 'Trumpet Call' Harmonica was sold by William J. Jenack Auctioneers for $80 in December 2003.
A Vintage Hohner Trumpet Harmonica in original box was sold by Cabin Fever Expositions for $350 in April 2008.
A Hohner Tremelo 4 Part Harmonica was sold by Tom Harris Auctions for $100 in May 2004.
An M Hohner '64 Chromonica' was sold by William J. Jenack Auctioneers for $45 in December 2003.
Four boxed Hohner harmonicas were sold by William J. Jenack Auctioneers for $70 in December 2004.
Three M. Hohner Harmonicas in original box were sold by Skinner for $100 in July 2008.
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