Alexandre Pere & Fils

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 681

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.

Accordion, Alexandre Pere & Fils, Wood, metal, mastic, brass, tortoiseshell, gilt brass, mother-of-pearl, silver foil, French

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