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Pietro Frosini´s Three-Row Button Accordion
Published: 2010-03-24 15:53:21
By: Lars Ek

A unique opportunity to acquire an extraordinary accordion. Three-row button treble, 120 bass, and one register in the treble with intarsia insertions of mother-of-pearl. Pietro Frosini received this accordion in the end of the 1920s from the Excelsior factory in New York. The accordion is in mint condition. A true opportunity for any accordion enthusiast. A chance in a life-time!

The accordion goes to the highest bidder.

Contact Lars Ek at for more information.

The Frosini Accordion

Pietro Frosini received this accordion, marked Excelsior New York, from the factory on January 17, 1927 and he played it until 1932. It was built with the Norwegian system and five-row button melody bass. Frosini recorded approximately 30 records with this accordion; Silver Moon Waltz, Dizzy Accordion, Floretta Waltz, Love Smiles, and Symphonic March, to name a few. The accordion is tuned with the characteristic tremolo sound Frosini is known for.

The Swedish-American Erik Berg was a good friend of Pietro Frosini and they lived near each other in New York. In 1932, Frosini received a new accordion and Erik Berg was asked if he wanted to purchase the old one. The factory remodeled the accordion from the Norwegian to the Swedish system.

Changing it to a three-row button treble was not complicated, but the base required more work, it was changed from a five-row melody bass to a sex-row Stradella bass. Erik Berg received Frosini´s old accordion but was able to play using his own system. Erik returned to Sweden in 1939, he became a chimneysweep master and moved to Grängesberg. Nobody knew that Frosini´s old accordion was in Sweden.

Sven Hylén and Ragnar Sundqvist visited Erik Berg several times, not once did Erik show them—or even mention—the unique accordion. When Erik passed away the accordion ended up in Gävle with Arne Hillberg. Arne, a true accordion enthusiast, contacted me, Lars Ek.

Thanks to a number of coincidences I was able to play Frosini on Frosini´s old accordion in the beginning of the 1980s. I have used it in radio and TV performances, and played it on studio recordings. Thousands of accordionists around the world, not just in Sweden, have been able to see and hear Pietro Frosini´s own accordion as I have brought it with me on a number of tours.

Lars Ek

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