Austrian origin for my antique Jew’s harp

img_14141My very handy wife, J, decided that rather than let me get rabies from playing the rusty antique Jew’s harp, she would clean it up. After some key Brillo pad scouring of the rust, this interesting detail came up. The harp was made in Austria! The question now is when. The kind of wear demonstrated is seen in coins from around fifty years ago. But a musical instrument shouldn’t get the kind of wear and tear that a coin gets, meaning this particular harp may be closer to a hundred years old. But, the older it is, the less likely the manufacturer would put Austria and more likely Republik Österreich or some other variation, I would think, although Austria is the Latinized version of Österreich. It is a bent piece of diamond shaped iron wire with the center blade soldered on, rather roughly. Its presence in central Europe may come from Magyar (Huns) or Ottoman Turk influences. Very cool.

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