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Rare "Duetta" concertina at Auction March 4th 2012

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Wheatstone & Co. Duet Concertina c.1845 to be sold at auction at Beverley Racecourse East Yorkshire England on Sunday March 4th 2012 by Hawleys Auctioneers

Please go to www.hawleys.info for images and contact details or ring John Hawley 07850 225805 or email john@hawleys.info

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Wheatstone & Co. Duet Concertina c.1845 to be sold at auction at Beverley Racecourse East Yorkshire England on Sunday March 4th 2012 by Hawleys Auctioneers

Please go to www.hawleys.info for images and contact details or ring John Hawley 07850 225805 or email john@hawleys.info

Here are pics from the Hawleys web site:page2-1043-full.jpg

 

page2-1045-full.jpg

page2-1044-thumb.jpg

Edited by Daniel Hersh

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Wheatstone & Co. Duet Concertina c.1845 to be sold at auction at Beverley Racecourse East Yorkshire England on Sunday March 4th 2012 by Hawleys Auctioneers

Please go to www.hawleys.info for images and contact details or ring John Hawley 07850 225805 or email john@hawleys.info

 

An oddball one ... Is it actually a Wheatstone? Everything looks too clunky.

Button layout could be a prototype Crane Duet system I suppose.

 

Chris

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An oddball one ... Is it actually a Wheatstone? Everything looks too clunky.

 

 

Yes it is as the auctioneers have described, a Wheatstone Duett

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Yes. I was thinking Maccann also. Didn't Wheatstone experiment with duet concertinas before settling on what became the Maccann layout? I realize that is not the most historically accurate statement but I seem to recall reading something like that either here or on concertina.com.

 

Ivan, didn't Crane start out with the 5 stud pattern from the beginning?

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[Yes. I was thinking Maccann also. Didn't Wheatstone experiment with duet concertinas before settling on what became the Maccann layout? I realize that is not the most historically accurate statement but I seem to recall reading something like that either here or on concertina.com.

 

Maccann certainly based his design on the earlier Wheatstone. This from Concertina.com

 

"The first successful design for a Duet concertina was patented in 1884 by a young performer, "Professor" John Hill Maccann. Maccann based his design on an earlier Wheatstone & Co. model, but licensed his patent to Wheatstone's competitor Lachenal & Co., and wrote both a tutor for his new instrument and a more-general "Concertinist's Guide" to promote it (his patent and both of his publications are available in full on this site). Fine-quality Maccann-system instruments were also made by Wheatstone & Co. after Maccann's patent expired in 1898, but Wheatstone never used Maccann's name to describe them. "

Edited by Irene S

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Didn't Wheatstone experiment with duet concertinas before settling on what became the Maccann layout? I realize that is not the most historically accurate statement...

Wheatstone did experiment with the duet concept, producing both the Duett on auction here (keyboard layout here) and the Double discussed in some old threads (keyboard layout here). Neither sold well, and both were discontinued with only a few examples built.

 

It's been said (I don't recall by whom) that when the Maccann patented his keyboard design (1884) the Wheatstone company (not Charles himself; he died in 1875) maintained that it was really just a copy of their own earlier design, which is why the name Maccann is never found associated with the design in Wheatstone ledgers, price lists, etc. Wheatstone calls it either "the Duet" or "the Wheatstone Duet".

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There I was walking down North Bar Within, Beverley and as I passed by the showcase window for Hawley's antiques what should I see but this very concertina on display. (Couldn't go in to check it out as it's not a proper shop, just a window display)

See attatched pics, sorry for poor quality, the glass was a bit smudged. Perhaps I'll pop along to the auction, making sure to keep my hands in my pockets!!!

 

regards

Jake

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There I was walking down North Bar Within, Beverley and as I passed by the showcase window for Hawley's antiques what should I see but this very concertina on display. (Couldn't go in to check it out as it's not a proper shop, just a window display)

See attatched pics, sorry for poor quality, the glass was a bit smudged. Perhaps I'll pop along to the auction, making sure to keep my hands in my pockets!!!

 

regards

Jake

 

 

If you do decide to bid, you could well be outbid by Neil Wayne. He keeps adding to his collection. Last year, he successfully bid on an example of a 24 key Wheatstone Symphonium, being sold at auction, by Gardiner-Houlgate of Corsham. See link here. I think it fetched £5,500!

 

Chris

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It's been said (I don't recall by whom) that when the Maccann patented his keyboard design (1884) the Wheatstone company (not Charles himself; he died in 1875) maintained that it was really just a copy of their own earlier design, which is why the name Maccann is never found associated with the design in Wheatstone ledgers, price lists, etc. Wheatstone calls it either "the Duet" or "the Wheatstone Duet".

 

I think that's entirely believable. I just looked at your keyboard layouts and I reckon I could play that straight off without hesitation; it's a Maccan layout without the outer rows of accidentals; even down to the way the upper C crosses over to the other side of the keyboard. Buttons may be absent, but the ones that are there are all exactly where they should be. All Maccan did was make it fully chromatic and extend it onward which hardly seems revolutionary. The old toad. So I play a Wheatstone duet then.

 

Mind you Wheatstone had given up on it by the time Prof Maccan took it on, it seems, so maybe he deserves the credit for demonstrating what it could do?

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It's been said (I don't recall by whom) that when the Maccann patented his keyboard design (1884) the Wheatstone company (not Charles himself; he died in 1875) maintained that it was really just a copy of their own earlier design, which is why the name Maccann is never found associated with the design in Wheatstone ledgers, price lists, etc. Wheatstone calls it either "the Duet" or "the Wheatstone Duet".

I just looked at your keyboard layouts and I reckon I could play that straight off without hesitation; it's a Maccan layout without the outer rows of accidentals; even down to the way the upper C crosses over to the other side of the keyboard.

(Not "my" layouts. I've linked to layouts at concertina.com. Great resource!)

 

Let me once again suggest a different perspective:

 

It's not that on the
Duett
"the upper C crosses over", a description which suggests the breaking of a pattern. In fact, where the otherwise completely consistent pattern is broken is with the G-A-B row at the bottom. The sequence of the octave from C to C is exactly the same as the C-to-C octave starting on middle C on the treble
English
. It's just that on the
English
the two left hand columns are on the left end of the bellows and the two right hand columns on the right end, while on the
Duett
and
Maccann
the two sets of columns are side by side on the same end. And that pattern -- sans accidentals -- is Wheatstone's original
diatonic
keyboard layout, as shown in various figures on page 10 of
.

 

Just as the
English
is an elaboration of the
symphonium
keyboard layout, so are the
Duett
and its descendant, the
Maccann
(or
Wheatstone Duet
). The elaborations of the
Duett
are the addition of an accidental in an outer "column" and the anomalous pattern of the lowest row, which places the lower G in the same column as the upper one. It looks as if Professor Maccann extended those two concepts... to two full outer columns of accidentals and full-octave repetitions of notes in same columns. Should we wonder instead why he kept the fully alternating Wheatstone layout even for one octave, instead of going to the fully repeating
throughout the keyboard?

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Today was the preview for tomorrow's sale, so I went up to Beverley Racecourse to have a look at this "Rare Duetta".

The woodwork was clean and in good condition with a nice varnish/laquer.

The handrests were of metal covered with leather and the straps in very poor condition.

It was impossible to check how it sounds as one button was permanently depressed and eight out of sixteen bellows corners were worn into holes.

A makers stamp was impressed into one end saying :-

 

By Her Majestys Letters Patent

Wheatstone ( & Co )??

20 Conduit St

London

 

The brochure gave a ball-park sale figure of £300-£500. But the price paid on the day will, of course, depend upon how many keenly interested bidders there are!!!

 

regards

Jake

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Bidding opened at £300, proceeded quickly to £600, going to a telephone bidder.

 

Jake

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