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Wheatstone Concertina History Mystery!

wheatstone concertina history wallace lancashire

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#1 lmoncur

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:52 AM

Hello!

 

I'm a new user on this forum so first off wanted to say hello! I've been playing concertina for about 20 years since the age of about 10!

 

I've just bought a new wooden ended wheatstone concertina - my other concertina is a metal-ended and very loud so wanted something a little quieter for acoustic song accompaniment.

 

However, my new concertina has an interesting history which I'm fascinated by and I would to get to the bottom of it. It has the usual Wheatsone label on one side but a very unusual label on the other side which reads:

 

MADE TO ORDER OF
T. WALLACE
CHURCH, LANCS.
WHEATSTONE & CO.
MANUFACTURERS,
LONDON.
 
The normal label reads:
WHEATSTONE & CO.
PATENTEES AND
22551
MANUFACTURERS
20, CONDUIT STREET, LONDON, W
 
I bought the concertina from barleycorn concertinas and have been told that to find a Wheatstone with the name of another person is extremely unusual.
 
I've looked up T Wallace on the 1911 census and found that he was 49, living in Church, Lancashire and is described as a 'dealer and repairer of musical instruments'. However I can find no other trace of him or any connection Wheatstone on the internet. Church in Lancashire is very small place. The population now is under 4000 and it was probably smaller in the 1890's.
 
I just wondered if anyone had come across anything similar or had ever heard of a T Wallace who dealt in concertinas or how he would have managed to get Wheatstone to actually add his name to the label!
 
Thanks so much and I look forward to chatting to you all :-)
 
Louise x

 

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#2 maki

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:39 PM

No idea on your mystery concertina.

But, I would like to extend a warm and hearty welcome.



#3 Peter Laban

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:09 PM

lmncur?

#4 lmoncur

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:23 PM

Ha ha!! Thank you for the warm welcome  :) Louise x



#5 lmoncur

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:23 PM

I wasn't expecting that!  :lol:



#6 JimLucas

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:58 PM

Welcome!
 

I just wondered if anyone had come across anything similar or had ever heard of a T Wallace who dealt in concertinas or how he would have managed to get Wheatstone to actually add his name to the label!


I don't know about a T. Wallace, but I do know that various sellers of Lachenal-made instruments sometimes pasted their own label overtop the standard Lachenal label.  I wonder if this could be a similar case, but slightly more honest, with the serial number shifted (added) to a Wheatstone-like label on the right-hand end so that Wallace could put his own label on the left-hand end.

 

Any chance of close up photos of the two labels?



#7 JimLucas

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:04 PM

 

I wasn't expecting that!  :lol:

 

Here on concertina.net you should expect just about anything, as long as it's good natured.  :)



#8 lmoncur

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:32 PM

Hi Jim, Thanks for your reply. I've tried to take photos of the labels. Barleycorn concertinas who sold to it me are convinced it's a factory label from Wheatstone. He's said he'd seen Lachenal's with dealers labels but not a Wheatstone. My first thought was that the man labelled it himself but it does look very genuine. Here's the photos and thanks again for your interest  :)



#9 lmoncur

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:34 PM

Sorry, hopefully the pictures will be here - still getting my head around working things :-)

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#10 Peter Laban

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:31 PM

The first port of call should probably be the Wheatstone ledgers to see what they say about the serial nr.

#11 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:13 PM

The first port of call should probably be the Wheatstone ledgers to see what they say about the serial nr.

 

Unfortunately the serial number records for this period have been lost... I have  Number 22695 (which is a fearsome Noisy little beast that I use for Band and session playing, you met this one last year Peter) which I estimate to have been made in 1898.

Harry Minting (who I met in the 1970's or '80's)  was the last manager at Wheastones, he had made a rough guide to serial numbers and dates... from which I made my estimate.

Congrats on your new Concertina Imoncur... and welcome to these forums.

 

Sorry, never heard of Mr Wallace either,

Geoff.


Edited by Geoff Wooff, 30 September 2013 - 04:14 PM.


#12 lmoncur

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:16 PM

The first port of call should probably be the Wheatstone ledgers to see what they say about the serial nr.

Hi Peter, Thanks so much but unfortunately with the serial number 22551, I've dated the concertina to 1898 which sadly isn't covered as far as I can see by the ledgers. I really wish it was! x



#13 lmoncur

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:18 PM

 

The first port of call should probably be the Wheatstone ledgers to see what they say about the serial nr.

 

Unfortunately the serial number records for this period have been lost... I have  Number 22695 (which is a fearsome Noisy little beast that I use for Band and session playing, you met this one last year Peter) which I estimate to have been made in 1898.

Harry Minting (who I met in the 1970's or '80's)  was the last manager at Wheastones, he had made a rough guide to serial numbers and dates... from which I made my estimate.

Congrats on your new Concertina Imoncur... and welcome to these forums.

 

Sorry, never heard of Mr Wallace either,

Geoff.

 

Hi Geoff and thanks for the warm welcome! Wow, you're isn't too far away from mine. I'd dated mine to around 1898 too! I wish there were more ledgers! My other concertina appears in them and I loved reading about it! x



#14 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:17 PM

A welcome from me too.

 

To the point: Playing a Lachenal EC myself (and having learnt how it compares to other "Lachenals") I can tell you that your concertina is looking pretty different. Can't judge on other makers, but a Lachenal it is not I'd say...



#15 lmoncur

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 03:07 AM

A welcome from me too.

 

To the point: Playing a Lachenal EC myself (and having learnt how it compares to other "Lachenals") I can tell you that your concertina is looking pretty different. Can't judge on other makers, but a Lachenal it is not I'd say...

Thanks for the welcome! The concertina is definitely a wheatstone as it has the labels in it. I'd just love to know how it came to have the name of the man who commissioned it in the labels too! Louise x



#16 Peter Laban

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 03:40 AM

Hi Peter, Thanks so much but unfortunately with the serial number 22551, I've dated the concertina to 1898 which sadly isn't covered as far as I can see by the ledgers. I really wish it was! x


It wasn't clear from your original post you were aware of the ledgers so I thought I'd mention the obvious, aware there are gaps but unaware your concertina's origins were in one of those gaps.

#17 lmoncur

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 03:52 AM

 

Hi Peter, Thanks so much but unfortunately with the serial number 22551, I've dated the concertina to 1898 which sadly isn't covered as far as I can see by the ledgers. I really wish it was! x


It wasn't clear from your original post you were aware of the ledgers so I thought I'd mention the obvious, aware there are gaps but unaware your concertina's origins were in one of those gaps.

 

Thanks Peter - every idea is very much appreciated! I wish I could get to the bottom of this  :) xxx



#18 Myrtle's cook

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 05:05 AM

I too was intrigued by this concertina when it was listed for sale.

'Barleycorn concertinas who sold to it me are convinced it's a factory label from Wheatstone.'

I have compared these labels to those on my Wheatstone (no. 23296, an aeola) and I would agree (on this slender basis) with Chris Algar's observation as the font of the printed surrounding script looks pretty much identical. One difference is that the stamped number looks to be in a different font - although this may not be significant given the finite life of such rubber based stamps.

One wonders what could have lead to this preferrential treament of Wallace? Was he perhaps an apprentice at Wheatstone, friend, relation etc?. Clearly it was something exceptional.

Hope it sounds as good as it looks - in my limited experience Wheatstones from this period have a lovely mellow tone balanced with a fast response.

...oh, and welcome to the forum too.







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