The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Not on view
Since their invention around 1830, harmonicas have been folk instruments. Though different variants were developed, including chromatic, bass, tremolo, chord, and octave harmonicas, the simple diatonic harmonica, with ten or fourteen double holes, is still commonly used. It uses blow and draw, and can be pitched in C, G, or any other key. Harmonicas are best suited for slow, simple melodies that express the player's feelings. In America, the harmonica became the portable and inexpensive instrument of choice for the cowboy, the gold miner, and the blues and country musician, often accompanied by banjo or guitar. This one is marketed as a "trio Harp," with two reeds per tone.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Marking: (on one side) Ch. Weiss, Gesetzlich Geschüzt (below a series of medals) Wien 1873, London 1891, (and other dates) (and medals of) Franz Joseph Kaiser v Oester (and) Karl Konig von Wurttemberg (and) Tr. Mark Mozart (and) Tr. Mark Columbus; (opposite) Trio-Harp/A Dur (and) Made in Germany.
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown
Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Europe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1904, vol. I, pg. 162.
Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments of All Nations: I. Europe, Galleries 25 and 26, Central Cases of Galleries 27 and 28. Catalogue., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, vol. 13, pg. 162.