HARRY BOYD AS A PERFORMER......?
In the discussion above on "Boyd Concertinas" the focus has been of course on H.Boyd as retailer and various possible qualities of the instruments sold by him, having a specified label with his name. I had only heard of Boyd as a salesman but.....:
I just noticed a Lachenal price list from 1896-97 (?) saying this:
"...characteristic features of the two latest models introduced by us. The Bowing Valves; as used by Signor Alsepti, Messrs. J.P.Johnson, H.Boyd, J.Pirochnikoff, and other eminent artists, are helping to break down the prejudice against it amongst the most able musicians of the present day."
We have speculated before if the "Boyd concertinas" actually are significantly different from same general production models without his name on them - both Lachenals and Whatstones or if the good reputation these instruments have firstly may be a combination of good marketing and widespread rumours with maybe questionable substance.
The note in the price list may indicate that H.Boyd was a front feature in the Lachenal marketing along with "Signor Alsepti" likely
being the primary one. Naturally adding the name H.Boyd on specially ordered instruments probably would raise the demand for them, particularly if Boyd was an admired performer himself.
Now...some questions come up:
- Did Boyd actually use the "bowing valves" actively himself and did this in real contribute some way to performance abilities?
- Did Alsepti succeed in convincing audiences and players that the bowing valves were of major importance?
- Since the obviously temporary use of the bowing valves seems to have ceased totally were they in real a complete failure?
- It looks as if the presence of endplate slots intended for bowing valves is a typical feature with "Boyd Concertinas" but very few such valves were fitted later. Were the endplate slots provided only as ( another) marketing gimmick promoted by Boyd in cooperation with Lachenals?
- At last...what is actually known about H. Boyd as an artist ? ( and the other names "J.P Johnson" and "J. Pirochnikoff."..?? )