Collector’s search for a museum to be home to her 350 accordions

Caroline Hunt, who is trying to find a new location to create a museum to house her 350 accordion collection.
Caroline Hunt, who is trying to find a new location to create a museum to house her 350 accordion collection.

A collector is looking for a new home in Stornoway for her much-loved accordions.

Caroline Hunt has amassed a collection of 350 antique accordions over the last 17 years and previously had an accordion museum at a heritage centre near Inverness.

One of Caroline Hunt's accordions - a Fratelli.

One of Caroline Hunt's accordions - a Fratelli.

Now she is looking for a permanent home for the collection and Stornoway is on her wish-list of potential places because of the tradiitonal music scene on the islands.

She thinks an accordion museum could prove to be a popular tourist attraction and she would also be happy to work with bagpipe and fiddle players.

Originally from the Borders, Caroline grew up in London but has discovered a family connection to the Isle of Lewis, with the Morrison side of her family having hailed from Ness.

Her the collection includes a Sheng, a reproduction of the original reed instrument made in China around 1740 and concertinas, flutinas, bandoneons, piano accordions and button accordions.

One of her early Russian accordions was used in the film Anna Karenena with Jude Law and Kiera Knightly.

“I would be happy to work with somewhere like a hotel that wants an attraction to bring people in but if I dont find any others to work with, I would equally consider moving to somewhere like an old primary school or police station but that is all a question of finance and might not be viable till I am old enough to retire,” she said.

To find out more, email Caroline at antiqueaccordions@gmail.com

What does Caroline have?

Caroline’s passion for playing and the instrument itself has resulted in a vast collection of accordions.

There are button accordions designed to look like piano accordions and early examples of accordions made by Paolo Soprani, who founded the Italian accordion industry, and also numerous German Hohners, including a Hohner Sax that looks like a Saxophone but is played like a cross between a melodeon and a mouth organ!

There is also a Hohner Shand Morino, which was designed by Sir Jimmy Shand with Morino at the Hohner Factory in Germany, specifically for Scottish Music.

“Not all my instruments are playable but some playable instruments are available for visitors,” said Caroline.