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Collection documents Harry A. Duffy, an appraiser and dealer in rare stringed instruments. Before opening his own shop he was taught by, and an employee of, Rembert Wurlitzer, well-known appraiser and dealer in rare stringed instruments.
Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The collection documents the career of Harry A. Duffy, an appraiser and dealer in rare stringed instruments. Included are financial and business records, correspondence, files on Duffy's certifications and appraisals, photographs, articles, printed material, and ephemera.
These papers are arranged in four series.
Series 1: Index of File Appraisals, 1984-2004, undated
Series 2: Correspondence (Dealers and Collectors), 1945-2005, undated
Series 3: Financial and Business Records and Ephemera, 1941-2004, undated
Series 4: Certification and Certificate Files, 1560-2003, undated
Subseries 4.1, Accordion Folder Files, undated
Harry Arthur Duffy, Jr. was born November 29, 1915 in Eureka, California the son of Harry A. Duffy and Caroline Mary Reason. His father was a pharmicist (chemist) in a drug store. According to the 1940 United States census, prior to World War II he played with a dance orchestra. His military record denotes he had four years of college. He served in World War II as a warrant officer in the United States Army. He married Clara N. Cromwell on August 12, 1941. This marriage produced two sons, Glenn E. Duffy and Duane A. Duffy.
At the close of the war he was hired by noted violin makers and dealers in rare stringed instruments, Rembert Wurlitzer, Incorporated in New York City, New York. Duffy was trained and eventually worked for Wurlitzer for decades.
Duffy opened Duffy's Rare Violin Shop, 2954 Oak Avenue in Coconut Grove, Florida in 1969. His marriage to Clara ended in divorce October 7, 1971 in Florida. Duffy married Barbara A. Lynn on October 15, 1971 in Miami, Florida. Duffy and Barbara divorced in April 1984. Duffy married Ogla Romanov in October 1989 in Hollywood, California. The couple moved to Del Mar, California where he continued appraisal work and occasional sales. Henry Arthur Duffy died on November 2, 2005 and is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale, California.
Books from the Harry A. Duffy Papers were transferred to the library, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Initial inventory by Craig Orr, archivist, 2009. Processed by Franklin A. Robinson, Jr., archivist, assisted by Christine Windheuser, volunteer, 2021.
Franklin A. Robinson, Jr.
Immediate Source of Acquisiton
Collection donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution by Duane A. Duffy and Glenn E. Duffy, sons of Harry A. Duffy, in 2009.
Using the Collection
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Restrictions on Access
Collection is open for research and access on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Harry A. Duffy Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012