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$$ for Vintage Autoharp?

07 Oct 05 - 02:00 PM (#1578159)
Subject: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: Janie

I want to sell my autoharp at either the Getaway silent auction or on the Mudcat auction. It is a 30-32 year old Oscar Schmidt 21 bar with case. It needs new strings and the felt on some of the bars needs replaced. The letters on some of the buttons show wear. The body is in mint condition. Looking around the web has not been particularly helpful to determine what it might be worth, so I don't know what to set for a minimum bid. Anybody got a clue?

Thanks.

Janie


07 Oct 05 - 02:21 PM (#1578171)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: Bill D

well...hmmmm..with new ones $300-$500, a used one in decent condition ought to bring $100 minimum...the actual condition of those strings and the felt would be the issue. It sorta depends on demand and patience, as autoharps are not as hot an item as Martin guitars.

I'd put a minimum of $100 on it, no matter where you offer it--it could bring $150 or so if...if...if.....(it may depend on what you have invested in it)


07 Oct 05 - 03:27 PM (#1578205)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: Mooh

Is it all solid woods or laminates? The older non-ply ones do sound nice. It might affect the resale. Mooh.


07 Oct 05 - 03:29 PM (#1578209)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: wysiwyg

Harpgirl can opine helpfully. Suggest PM.

~S~


07 Oct 05 - 06:03 PM (#1578310)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: wysiwyg

PS, if you'd rather use it to take a tax deduction, I can accept it via our church, since I play autoharp there every Saturday night.

~Susan


08 Oct 05 - 10:54 AM (#1578813)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: wilco

I get lots of these in my music store in east tennessee. Restringing and re-felting usually run about $150.00. I buy them to set-up as diatonic harps. I usually pay $30.00 to $60.00 for them. "Vintage" could mean just about anything.
Wilco in Tennessee


08 Oct 05 - 11:17 AM (#1578835)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: DonMeixner

Hi Janie

I have played a lot of Autoharp over the years and restored more than few. I must admit that the 21 Bar harps are my least favorite of the bunch. I have usually tossed the 21 bar mechanism and built it back to a 12 bar diatonic model.

I really don't think they are vintage yet.

They best way to maximise the money you can get for it is by way of private sale to an individual. Wilco is very correct about what a retail store will buy them for or give value for as a trade-in. I think the silent auction at the GEtaway is a great way to do this.

Don


08 Oct 05 - 12:24 PM (#1578873)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: Janie

I guess I think of it as vintage because I think of myself as vintage:0 and bought it when I was still a pretty young thing. This has been helpful. I'm thinking a minimun bid of $45 or $50 might be a good place to start. (I may have a set of strings for it that I never got around to putting on it.)

So...if you are coming to the Getaway and are looking for an autoharp (maybe you have a youngin' wanting to learn)....it will help some one else come to the Getaway next year!

Janie


09 Oct 05 - 09:25 PM (#1579799)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: Janie

Went and dug the old thing out from under the bed. The memory is only partially failing. I do have an unused set of strings--but the body--while sound, is certainly not mint. Shows about as much wear as I do these 30 years later:o\ Some of the springs are missing. I have no idea how or when that happened.
    It had been years since I had it out of its case (I have joint problems that eventually led to me stopping playing both the autoharp and the guitar.) Handling it--cleaning it up as best I could without restringing it--was a poignant walk down memory lane.

    *sigh*
   
    Janie


09 Oct 05 - 10:05 PM (#1579820)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: Nathan in Texas

Its value, in part, depends on where it was made. The U.S. made ones are generally considered superior to those made overseas. Oscar Schmidts were made in U.S. until the late 70s when they were manufactured in Japan for a few years and in Korea since then.

For a U.S. made model, I'd start the bidding at $100, especially since you have a new set of strings (they go for $40 and up these days). If not U.S. made, I'd still start the bidding at $60 or $70, even with a few springs missing. Anyone who gets an autoharp in decent shape for less than $100 has gotten a bargain.

Nathan


10 Oct 05 - 09:05 AM (#1580037)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: Janie

It is U.S. made. Question about strings--They are probably 10 years old, though never used. I just opened the package on them yesterday--before I realized I didn't have the time to go ahead and restring it. Are they good as new?

I'd like to start the bidding as high as is reasonable in terms of the worth of the instrument, to maximize the benefit of the sale to the FSGW scholarship fund. However--I don't think people often come to the Getaway prepared to spend much in the auction. It will do the FSGW no good if I end up taking it home again, because the opening bid is more than this particular crowd is prepared to shell out.

What to do...what to do....?

Janie


10 Oct 05 - 09:24 AM (#1580049)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: wysiwyg

Janie, I can show you how to play it even with your joint troubles. If it doesn't go above a "reserve" bid, perhaps it's a sign you're meant to play it.

~S~


10 Oct 05 - 09:54 AM (#1580065)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: Janie

I dunno, Susan. When my finger joints are stressed just a little bit they lock up on me. I have to take the finger in my other hand and straighten it. It used to just be uncomfortable. Now it is painful. It happens when I'm weeding, or if I wrap my hand around a handle. It will occasionally happen when I'm keyboarding, just to give you an idea of how little pressure my fingers can handle. I avoid using power equipment such as lawn mowers or rototillers, because the vibration that occurs when gripping the handle really aggrevates the condition.

When I stopped playing, it was because of the left, or keying hand. Now I think even the struming/picking would be a problem. Still--if it doesn't sell, you will be hearing from me.

Janie


10 Oct 05 - 10:28 AM (#1580086)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST,I vote 'keep it and play it' !!!

the key purpose of the autoharp is to be a genuinely egalitarian
non-exclusive easy to play folk intstrument

for all ages and levels of musical ability..

I'm happy to know I'll still keep mine in use most probably
longer to the end,
than whatever future ailements are more likely to prevent me from playing my guitars..

I'd advise you get in touch with any disabled mobility groups
who may have solutions for replacing the small chord buttons with more appropriate bigger ones , or levers, or whatever else may have already beeen devised to keep people with your condition musicaly active..


and as for any simple restricted strumming technique you can manage.. it will still sound mighty fine.

please think twice before you dispose of a lovely intstument
you are perhaps destined to keep for youer own use..

considering this autoharp wont make a fortune at auction..
unless friends and well wishers get a charity sympathy bid fever rolling..


keep it.. get a little mobility conversion work done on it..

then maybe find a few spare $$$ to donate instead to the charity


10 Oct 05 - 06:53 PM (#1580542)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: moongoddess

Janie,
    Maybelle Carter played her autoharp on her lap sometimes, avoiding the stress on the left hand when that hand is used for keying. I have started to play mine that way, too, but using my right hand to key and my left hand to strum.


14 Jun 07 - 02:32 AM (#2076490)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST,long Island NY

I'm looking for a used one. I'm on Long Island NY USA. Email me woodge1@hotmail.com


14 Jun 07 - 09:21 AM (#2076744)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: Janie

Hi Long Island,

I no longer have the autoharp. Hope you find one.

Janie


12 Dec 07 - 08:37 PM (#2214190)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST,Joni

I have an autoharp for sale here in australia for #150.00A in excellent condition plus case and tuner.


13 Dec 07 - 03:36 PM (#2214725)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST,Jim

I prefer the A model 'harps with the strings that attach over end pins. I own two black boxes and two Appalachians from the mid-sixties, two with wooden bars and two with metal bars. I have them all set up as diatonics. None of these cost me more than $40 Cdn. I got one at a flea market, one at a garage sale, one at a music store and one was given to me in pieces after I played a show. I used instructions in the (now defunct) Autoharpoholic magazine to convert them. My favourite is a '67 Appalachian set up as a D/G semi-diatonic.


14 Dec 07 - 02:07 PM (#2215367)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: Little Robyn

Hi Janie, so how much did you get for it in the end? Did you give it to a worthy cause or did someone offer you big bucks?
I hope it went to a good home.
Cheers,
Robyn


22 Jun 08 - 05:10 PM (#2372097)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST,nckaren

I have a Chroma Harp autoharp that I'd like to sell. It needs to be owned by someone who will love it and play it. It isn't good for it to just occupy space in my closet. If you are interested please get in touch with me at kj667@myway.com and I'll try to answer any questions you might have. I live in NC.


05 Jul 08 - 06:34 PM (#2381974)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST,nckaren

Hi-I have a Chromaharp autoharp I would like to sell. Is there anyone out there who would be intrested? It is in excellent condition, but I do not play. It needs to be played and enjoyed.


05 Jul 08 - 06:37 PM (#2381977)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST,nckaren

Oops, sorry. If yu are interested in the autoharp I have, email me-- kj667@myway.com (or you can call me at (336)824-4449- it's a north carolina #)


18 Nov 08 - 09:19 PM (#2497302)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST,PK

I have a sear autoharp in case with all the books, in great condition, everything in the case pick,tool to adjust, looks as if it was not used, even has an old 45 record of Mother Maybelle Carter put out by Sears also and it is her Read-Listen-Learn record...I would like $150.00 for this, if you want I will send pictures..I am a reputable dealer and have good ratings on E-bay...You will have to pay the postage...just contact me at pk1@npgcable.com


02 Feb 09 - 09:13 PM (#2555768)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST,Cindy Reid

I have an Oscar Schmidt Festival diatonic autoharp. It is signed by the builder and is dated 2/2/83. I used to play this instrument when I purchased it in the 80's brand new. It has a most lovely sound, unlike other autoharps. I would like to start playing it again, but am trying to restring, and re-felt it first. I am looking for someone who is familiar with its use and how to use the key change levers...I don't really remember. Anyone familiar with this?


03 Feb 09 - 10:15 AM (#2556128)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: JohnB

I have one which the label states "Autoharp by Oscar Schmidt"
It needs new strings and does not have the "auto" part, it is Black and has 36 rusty strings.
I only paid 2$Can for it in a garage sale so it sits there waiting for me to do something with it.
I am not sure what people are talking about when you say to set it up as a diatonic autoharp. I know what diatonic is but do I still need a chord bar (which I don't have) or can I get a new one?
JohnB.


03 Feb 09 - 11:03 AM (#2556171)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: Bill D

There is 'usually' no reason to completely restring an autoharp. This is a LOT of work and will seldom get noticable results. Unless there is real damage, it is best to change strings only as they break. IF you must change all strings, it is best to do only 1-2 at a time, keeping the overall tension the same. On the older 'harps...be warned! They did not use the same gauge of strings as the newer, heavier ones. If you put the heavier strings on, you will probably warp or break the thing! Be sure to find a source who knows the difference!

(I have a 1900 Zimmerman 'harp that still has most of its original strings.)

The same general advice for felt...but some types of felt does wear faster and develop grooves. To replace felt you first get blank felt and mark on the bar with a marker the areas to be cut away...then remove the old felt, glue on the new piece and gently cut the spaces with a razor blade or Exacto knife.


To do diatonic, you just need to replace the felt on certain bars so that some strings are doubled. (This harder to control on older instruments) On the newer 'harps, it is possible to buy replacement bars, I think. A Google search on 'diatonic autoharp' will get you lots of info.


10 Apr 10 - 11:14 PM (#2884011)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST

I have a 1970's Oscar Schmidt autoharp that a friend gave me since she had no interest in it. I never got around to learning to play it, and have been considering selling it. I don't know much about them, but it looks to be in very good condition, and comes with a tuner, hardshell case, some picks, and original booklets, etc. Would anyone be interested in buying it? cashmonee1@msn.com :)


11 Apr 10 - 08:04 AM (#2884158)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: autoharpbob

Everyone should be aware that in the world of the autoharp - as in many other worlds - opinions differ on a lot of things, and very little is set in stone. So when people start saying things like
"the key purpose of the autoharp is to be a genuinely egalitarian
non-exclusive easy to play folk instrument" you have to wonder if they have ever heard the autoharp played by people like Patrick Couton or Mike Fenton. Everything is easy to play if you play easy music on it. Similarly with string changes. I have had my F/C D'Aigle restrung after four years and there is a VERY noticeable difference. Many luthiers will tell you this is about the time that you should play the same set of strings, but I do know good players who restring totally every six months. Yet the afore-mentioned Mike Fenton insists you should re-string a harp as often as you restring a piano. PLease - nobody can be prescriptive about the autoharp. If it works for you, then thats the way to do it.


12 Apr 10 - 03:08 AM (#2884628)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: The Fooles Troupe

"Would anyone be interested in buying it?"

Dear GUEST, possibly many here would, but in view of many scams involving sales of items on the net, sadly nowadays many people are wary. A link to some pictures would be helpful. If you are a 'regular' here, then perhaps something went wrong when you posted.


12 Apr 10 - 03:25 PM (#2884980)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST,hg

Restringing an autoharp will bring very considerable improvement in sound quality and should be done much more often than most people are willing. The improvement in sound is the same as a guitar with new strings only magnified by six.
BillD is wrong wrong wrong ( but no disrespect meant) about string changing

Also, much more information would be needed to accurately valuate your autoharp since people unfamiliar with the instrument often do not see flaws when trying to sell online. The rough value is about 100-200 dollars if it is a 21 bar 70's model with everything intact.


12 Apr 10 - 10:04 PM (#2885257)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: Dorothy Parshall

The Oscar Schmidt that I bought about 32 years ago at Rufus Guitar Shop (Montreal) sold before Christmas at Rufus Guitar Shop (Vancouver). I received about $250CA. It had not been played much!


05 Nov 10 - 12:28 PM (#3024351)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: jennytuttle13

I am trying to find a price to sell my autoharp from japan in the 1950's. it is in a red retangle box, about two feet, it says BI IM HENG, and has 4 strings. I want to know the value, origin, and what kind of japanese autoharp it is. can anybody help me?


05 Nov 10 - 12:51 PM (#3024368)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: Bill D

4 strings?? An autoharp usually has 36. Are many missing, or is this some other instrument? "A red rectangle box" means little. How wide is it? An autoharp is a foot or so wide, and sort of shaped like a rectangle with one corner cut off.


05 Nov 10 - 12:55 PM (#3024369)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: jennytuttle13

i have also heard it called a zither. i can not find any info about it, it could be something called taishogoto or koto. no missing strings and it is about 6in wide.


05 Nov 10 - 01:05 PM (#3024374)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: John MacKenzie

Koto has 13 strings, and a Taishogoto has 5 strings, but is like an autoharp, in that it has keys/bars to press when playing.

Taishogoto


05 Nov 10 - 01:09 PM (#3024382)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: jennytuttle13

yes, typewritter like keys.


05 Nov 10 - 01:16 PM (#3024387)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: Bill D

Ah! Fascinating...thanks John, I had never seen one of those before.


05 Nov 10 - 03:01 PM (#3024481)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: John MacKenzie

That's whatcha got then Jenny


05 Nov 10 - 04:06 PM (#3024551)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: jennytuttle13

Thanks everyone, now i just need to figure out the value!


05 Nov 10 - 06:23 PM (#3024639)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: The Fooles Troupe

The tashigoto seems similar to an old Clavinet. Saw one years ago , but was too broke and stupid to grab it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clavinet

Would love to get one.


29 Apr 11 - 04:02 PM (#3144898)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST,David Long

Good Day,
Here is a listing you may be interested in. Just follow the ebay link.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260776444641&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

Many Thanks


18 Dec 11 - 11:02 PM (#3276326)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST,Guest, Amedee Tieman

I have a 15 cord, 1970 Oscar Schmidt Autoharp, recently restrung. Brand new condition, original hard case. My grandmother purchased it for my 7th Birthday in hopes I'd take a shine to a musical instrument. I don't have any musical ability. I am interesting in selling it. If interested, lowest offer I will accept is $100, buyer pays shipping.

email:tiemanamd@earthlink.net
cell   815-200-3333


06 Mar 12 - 05:06 PM (#3318398)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST,sallie

I have a Zimmermann type 1 autoharp with the three bars it appears from the makers label to be from late 1880s to the mid 1890s..it is in fairly decent shape though is missing a few strings..any idea what it is worth?? Is there a market for selling this type of Autoharp? please email me @ minnienebraska@yahoo.com if anyone seriously interested in this item.


05 Jun 12 - 07:39 AM (#3359499)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST,elsie

have a auto harp would like to known had to tell how old it is


06 Jun 12 - 02:27 AM (#3359861)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: beeliner

have a auto harp would like to known had to tell how old it is

If it's a 'black box' Schmidt, there should be a four-digit number stamped on the back. The first two digits indicate the year of manufacture, e.g. "6214" is a 1962 harp.


04 Dec 15 - 02:09 PM (#3755717)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST,davajohn76

I have a very old autoharp bearing the Canadian royal crest , beavers maple leaf. Who made ITV? One is in display in a museum. Forgive my silly questions please . thanks.


24 Jan 18 - 04:02 PM (#3901539)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: GUEST,terry

I have 5 RBI chromAharps i would like to sell. they are in great shape, strings not rusted and felt is good too. 3 of them are in cases and two in styrofoam containers. one has a broken string. I would take $50 each if anyone is interested


24 Jan 18 - 04:09 PM (#3901541)
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
From: wysiwyg

Youll get more play if you start a nee thread with a snappy title. Good price. More if cases.