My recently acquired Crackajack Artist had me delving into the world of harps with fluted covers. The Crackajack Artist (1926) manufactured by F A Rauner is shaped like their fluted World Master mouth organ. ‘Down Under’ we also had the Rozella (1913) by F A Bohm and the Perla (1926) both with fluted cover plates. It was the Perla with a distinctive cover plate design that would propagate this new journey. I couldn’t identify the maker so I sent out a cry for help to fellow Riff Raffers.
Well what an array of fluted harps came my way, alas the maker of the Perla cannot be identified beyond reasonable doubt. However we have a grand array of harps for you to peruse. Mark Hand sent us a few and included some from the Harmonica Museum. One in particular stood out and needed follow up just because of its uniqueness. It was the Brittania Band made by Seydel. Martin Haffner, Director of the German Harmonica and Accordion Museum Trossingen, kindly sent more photos.
Left top to bottom-The Embassy (Hans Rolz), The Pro (Hohner), The Player’s Favourite (Koch), Echo (Hohner). Right top to bottom-Cornet Band (Seydel), Boomerang (Seydel), Jolly Tourist (F A Bohm), Britannia Band (Seydel).
Left-various views of Britannia Band (Seydel). Right top to bottom-Jockey (M Spranger), Bandmaster Double De Luxe (Seydel), Field Marshall (F A Rauner).
The Player’s Favourite yeah na! Doug Dawson sent his collection of fluted harps that certainly had some possibilities, but the Perla’s flute appears to have a single channel. It is difficult to ascertain from the advertisement illustration. Could it be the Christian Weiss model? There are other Aussie models manufactured by them. The Miss America model by Johann Schunk also looks similar and collector Ken VanEtten, who has one, felt it was very close to the Perla. But again to my little eye it appears to have two separate flutes (not joined in the middle).
Left top to bottom-Miss America (Johann Schunk), Parade Band (C Weiss), The Dictator (Schlossmeinel). Right top to bottom-World Master (F A Rauner), Empress Harp (Otto Weidlich), The Empire Band (A A Schlott), Little Nemo (?).
Here’s a few more I pulled from some old catalogues it does include the Parade Band and The Bandmaster models already displayed.
I don’t think there’s anything here, definitely nothing conclusive. If anyone out there in Harmonica land has any idea about the Perla’s maker we would love to hear from you here at HRR. If nothing else we’ve discovered a pretty amazing harp on display at the Harmonika Museum, Seydel’s Britannia Band. I want that one.
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PS: Thanks also to John Whiteman and Ken VanEtten for their contributions.