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Wheatstone No.22002

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I have Wheatstone no.22002; black ends; 48 nickle buttons; and with the strap buttons engraved, in a "gothic revival" script "RCCC 1895". Can anyone offer any information or ideas on its origins? It was purchased last year in South West London in non-playing order from someone who had been given it as a curio. It has been suggested that "CC" could stand for "Concertina Club". All contributions gratefully received.

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I've held off replying since I was hoping someone else could do better. The 1895 date is likely to be when it was newly purchased. Unfortunately your instrument is in the Wheatstone record 'black hole', which stretches from December 1891 (No 21353) to 1910 (No 25000) where no records exist. Sorry! The only thing I can tell you is that it would have been made at Wheatstone's Conduit Street premises (they moved c.1905), and Edward Chidley Senior was still at the head (died 1899). It would be useful if you could tell us more about it and its features, so we have some record of an instrument of this 'lost' period.

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Wes:"It would be useful if you could tell us more about it and its features, so we have some record of an instrument of this 'lost' period. "

 

Goran: Side info....but since you put the question Wes...my 21445 is a pinhole type (same fret pattern as the early sixsided "Aeola" instruments) 56 key treble with riveted reeds in shallow reed frames.

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Thanks Goran,

This period in Wheatstone history (1892-1910) is one where many changes seem to have occurred (Aeola introduced; Anglos, Duets and screwed reeds reintroduced) and it would be nice to try to establish when these changes first appear from instrument numbers. Did Edward Senior retire before he died and leave the firm in control of his sons, or did they have to wait until after his death?

Kenneth Chidley said that his father, Edward Junior, introduced the Aeola in its usual form about 1902, but it would be nice to confirm this, and see if there was anything unusual happening before this.

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Thank you very much for your reply Wes.

 

I have to admit being very ignorant on all aspects of the concertina, hence my first posting. I can say that aestheticaly this is a very elegant instrument and in excellent condition following its restoration by Andy Norman; and I am very pleased to own it. If you can tell me what features would be of interest to you, I'll do my best to identify them.

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Wes,

 

Again, this is not the main concern of this thread but I have in my shop Wheatstone 6-sided pinhole concertina #22961. It is playing, more or less, and is in pretty much original, unrestored condition (including brilliantly made reeds in tune in original pitch) except for the ends which have had cracks repaired and some refinishing by a previous owner. The reeds are not the riveted type. If the information is useful for your research, I would be happy to answer any questions about it; email me privately (paul@groffsmusic.com).

 

Paul

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Hi Wes

 

Noting your post, I thought you may like to have a photo of 23235 ebony-ended English with leather bellows, riveted action and screwed reeds. (I would add that I have done a bit of work to it since getting it off ebay):rolleyes:

 

Pete

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Many thanks to all of you,

 

From your replies, its already looking like rivetted reeds changed to screwed reeds between 21445 and 22961, so it would be useful to know which type are in your 220002, Red. You'd then be either the proud owner of one of the last rivetted, or one of the earliest screwed reeds. You can also compare your instrument with the photo that Pete kindly posted, and see if you can see any differences. Pete's instrument has the usual fretwork pattern, but Goran mentions 'pinhole' which is a much smaller, less open pattern.

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Pete's instrument has the usual fretwork pattern, but Goran mentions 'pinhole' which is a much smaller, less open pattern.

Here's a photo of a 6-sided Æola with "pinhole" fretwork, also known as "dot-comma" fretwork. I think you can see why.

 

Edited to add the following not-too-useful historical information: This instrument has screw plates on the reeds, not rivets. It has no evidence of a serial number. Internally it is clearly stamped in several places with the "batch" number 59, but the maker's label on the one end is paper under an open circle in the fretwork, and on the other end there's only a relatively new (not yellowed) blank piece of white paper.

post-9-1073684421.jpg

Edited by JimLucas

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Wes and Jim,

 

If this thread is drifting in the direction of "pinhole" or .&, Wheatstones, I won't resist the current.

 

I mentioned above #22961. This is so numbered on the left-side oval paper label; internally it is numbered "39' throughout. BTW I don't have the right-side paper maker's label for this one; it may have been kept as a souvenir by a previous owner who was an amateur repairman. I should photocopy a Wheatstone label and put it in there.

 

I also have some bits and pieces of two other pinhole instruments, with internal stamps "38" and "68," respectively. I think these are "batch" or production numbers and suspect that redundant internal numbers will be found on instruments from this period, that originally were marked with different serial numbers. My two fragmentary instruments, like #22961, had screwed reeds. All three were 56 key extended trebles (unlike the concertina in Jim's photo). However, like his, all are six-sided and have fretwork similar to the one in his photo.

 

There is another very good photo of one of these in the ad for Joel Cowan in C&S #30 (p. 5, 1993). The number 21444 is clearly visible on the label, but the label's appearance is very different from that of #22961. The latter label (on mine) is clearly original, with the Wheatstone name and address also printed there in very fine type. Joel's ad states "'Pinhole' Aeolas were typically 56-key extended trebles, and were equipped with a four-fold leather bellows." However, #22961 has a five fold bellows that looks original. In the photo of "#21444," the word "Aeola" is stamped in the wood. #22961 does not seem ever to have had the stamp, but if very shallow, this may have been obscured in the light refinishing done by a previous owner. The bits and pieces of fretwork belonging to my two fragmentary instruments are thousands of miles away, in my shop, but I think I remember that at least one did have this "Aeola" stamp.

 

Wes, I have never been sure that Wheatstone's riveted reeds did not overlap chronologically with the "normal" type (perhaps in instruments made at the same time, but of different models or quality grades). Do you have reliable evidence that the whole shop switched from the riveted reeds to the screwed reeds at some (possibly unknown) particular date (leaving aside for the moment the two types of riveted reeds, and the earlier screwed reeds)?

 

I have always been interested in these "pinhole" instruments and will enjoy hearing from others who know more about them.

 

Paul

 

Edited to correct citation of C& S # 30. I originally wrote "29" because that is the issue number printed at the foot of each page of issue # 30!

Edited by Paul Groff

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If this thread is drifting in the direction of "pinhole" or .&, Wheatstones, I won't resist the current.

In this Forum I have just created a new Topic, "The 6-sided, 'pinhole' Æolas" for continued discussion of these instruments. In it I have included a recap of what has already been said in this thread. Check it out.

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Paul:"There is another very good photo of one of these in the ad for Joel Cowan in C&S #30 (p. 5, 1993). The number 21444 is clearly visible on the label, but the label's appearance is very different from that of #22961. The latter label (on mine) is clearly original, with the Wheatstone name and address also printed there in very fine type. Joel's ad states "'Pinhole' Aeolas were typically 56-key extended trebles, and were equipped with a four-fold leather bellows." However, #22961 has a five fold bellows that looks original. In the photo of "#21444," the word "Aeola" is stamped in the wood. #22961 does not seem ever to have had the stamp, but if very shallow, this may have been obscured in the light refinishing done by a previous owner. The bits and pieces of fretwork belonging to my two fragmentary instruments are thousands of miles away, in my shop, but I think I remember that at least one did have this "Aeola" stamp."

 

Goran: The above is a bit confusing...I checked the photo in C&S....My 21445 is looking just like this 21444 except NOT having the "Aeola" inscript. It has the original 4 fold bellows and no doubt original as a whole. Since they have consecutive numbers and being 'twins' they might/ought to belong to a common batch of makes (often 6 or more) which makes it a little bit funny that the "Aeola" is not common too. Question arises (having been discussed before) IF the "Aeola" sign at this time also indicated longer scale reeds?? (which my instrument does NOT have..)

 

Goran Rahm

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Wes, I have never been sure that Wheatstone's riveted reeds did not overlap chronologically with the "normal" type (perhaps in instruments made at the same time, but of different models or quality grades). Do you have reliable evidence that the whole shop switched from the riveted reeds to the screwed reeds at some (possibly unknown) particular date (leaving aside for the moment the two types of riveted reeds, and the earlier screwed reeds)?

 

Paul,

I have no information about what kind of overlap may have occurred between the two types of reed, or if the type was model related. We will have to wait until the earlier records are published to see if there is anything in them. But given that we have this gap of nearly twenty years in the records, its something we will probably need to establish from owners reports.

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Many thanks to all of you,

 

From your replies, its already looking like rivetted reeds changed to screwed reeds between 21445 and 22961, so it would be useful to know which type are in your 220002, Red. You'd then be either the proud owner of one of the last rivetted, or one of the earliest screwed reeds. You can also compare your instrument with the photo that Pete kindly posted, and see if you can see any differences. Pete's instrument has the usual fretwork pattern, but Goran mentions 'pinhole' which is a much smaller, less open pattern.

 

 

The reeds are screwed, the internal "batch number" is 72, externally it is exactly as Pete's instrument except that the fretwork pattern is of stylised scrolling foliage, perhaps a vine, and not unlike that seen in medieval manuscripts. In addition there are not the usual paper labels, but; on the right, an embossed brass plate - WHEATSTONE, INVENTORS, PATENTEES & MANFACT, LONDON; on the left a stamped nickel plate -WHEATSTONE 22002. I have taken some photo's and will try to post them later if you feel they may be of interest, again many thanks to all contributors.

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It has been suggested that "CC" could stand for "Concertina Club".

 

How about "Cricket Club" ?

 

It may sound a strange suggestion to you, but I have seen several, late-Victorian, photographs of cricket outings that included a concertina player (indeed I own at least one such photograph). For that matter, the services of either a concertina, or melodeon, player seem to have been required for almost any outing at the time (judging by photographs I have seen).

 

The renowned Sussex concertina player, Scan Tester, had two great passions in his life, his cricket and his "music" (his concertina).

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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For that matter, the services of either a concertina, or melodeon, player seem to have been required for almost any outing at the time (judging by photographs I have seen).

From Three Men In A Boat, by Jerome K Jerome:-

 

I still went on pulling, however, and still no lock came in sight, and the river grew more and more gloomy and mysterious under the gathering shadows of night, and things seemed to be getting weird and uncanny. I thought of hobgoblins and banshees, and will-o'-the-wisps, and those wicked girls who sit up all night on rocks, and lure people into whirl-pools and things; and I wished I had been a better man, and knew more hymns; and in the middle of these reflections I heard the blessed strains of "He's got `em on," played, badly, on a concertina, and knew that we were saved.

 

I do not admire the tones of a concertina, as a rule; but, oh! how beautiful the music seemed to us both then - far, far more beautiful than the voice of Orpheus or the lute of Apollo, or anything of that sort could have sounded. Heavenly melody, in our then state of mind, would only have still further harrowed us. A soul-moving harmony, correctly performed, we should have taken as a spirit-warning, and have given up all hope. But about the strains of "He's got `em on," jerked spasmodically, and with involuntary variations, out of a wheezy accordion, there was something singularly human and reassuring.

 

The sweet sounds drew nearer, and soon the boat from which they were worked lay alongside us.

 

It contained a party of provincial `Arrys and `Arriets, out for a moonlight sail. (There was not any moon, but that was not their fault.) I never saw more attractive, lovable people in all my life. I hailed them, and asked if they could tell me the way to Wallingford lock; and I explained that I had been looking for it for the last two hours.

 

Chris

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Thanks, Stephen and Chris, for your replies; Cricket Club does seem a possibility. I shall have to scan (NPI) a gazeteer for likely candidates. I must also look more closely at the photos of the ancient charabang "Jollies" (strictly 'arries of course) at my local "The Leather Bottle" in Garratt Lane, Wandsworth.

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