Chicago Antiques Guide

The Chicago Antiques Guide Blog

Kosatka Concertina Club

Posted Monday, October 17 by CAG

Back on September 2nd, Colin in Canada wrote in about a Chemnitz concertina engraved "Th. Kosatka Chicago". We were able to put him in touch with a direct descendant of Thomas Kosatka. The original post was titled, Everybody Polka!

We followed up with Art Kosatka (who was hoping to acquire the instrument), and here is what Art told us over the weekend,

"I did not acquire it, but I have had an extensive and most fascinating discussion with the gentleman who posted the inquiry. It is, indeed, the concertina owned by my ancestor -- I have photos of his band in 1919, playing that specific concertina , and concert programs of his -- He was not opposed to my trying to purchase it, but it needs some restoration, and his own reason for buying it was to learn to play it in the style that this "model" (the "bandneon") is famous for; the tango music of Astor Piazzolla. We came to the agreement that the best way to honor its history was for it to play music again, rather than the "benevolent closet storage" I had to
offer it. We have a rather loose agreement to stay in touch."

Art also sent us a great photo showing the Kosatka Concertina Club (Thomas is 2nd concertina from left).
Kosatka Conclub.jpg
Art also expressed the way the internet has really "shrunken" the space-time continuum.

"I think it's a terrific example of how a simple internet inquiry can bridge generations, distances, and otherwise inconceivable separations of people and interests. I discovered it because I periodically search for the family name in geneological, not musical research. Just as an example, what are the odds that I would find this after:

•86 years of migration from Chicago to any (or all) of a hundred places, finally Canada. (how did it get there? By whom? Why did Thomas or his family sell it?)

•How did it get to a Canadian convention, for that shop owner to pick it up to....

•Sit 10 years unsold in his back room, waiting for somebody to decide to sell it to....

•A guy who just happened to walk by the window, and have enough of an interest to connect that "type" of music, to *that* instrument...
And who had no idea about the history what he had, and rather than just sit on it, posted an inquiry containing that name on the internet for...

•A guy (me) who only occasionally trolls for that specific name, and only happened to find it about 15 pages down in the results, and who…

•Knew just enough about it, and had just enough interest to track him down - which took 4 weeks."

We love stories like this!

Leave a comment

Weblog Archives