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What Is This Wheatstone?


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#1 Johansson1991

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 11:21 PM

Hey guys!  first time here :)

So i found this old Wheatstone in my Aunties cupboard and started to research it, but I can't find much!

From my research I think I've figured out it was made in the 1920's and is a Duet concertina with 19 keys.

Would anyone know where I can find info on how to play a 19 key concertina? Or any history related to them.  All the other concertinas are so much bigger! :)

Thanks in advance!  :) :)

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#2 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 11:39 PM

That's no ordinary concertina you've found there! It's a semi-miniature instrument of the highest quality, an aeola with tortoiseshell ends and gold-plated fittings, and quite possibly unique.

 

However, it looks more like an English system concertina than a duet (though appearances can be deceiving). There should be a serial number on the other end, which should be the key to finding out more about it.


Edited by Stephen Chambers, 13 November 2014 - 02:31 AM.


#3 Johansson1991

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 12:04 AM

Thank you Stephen!

 

The serial number is 31431 - from this I think I have deduced it was made in the 1920's.  Do you know where I can find more information?

I only guessed it was a duet based on my untrained ear pressing the keys.  I could indeed be an english system :)



#4 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 12:06 AM

Is it numbered 31431 by any chance?

 

If so it is 4" across the ends and dates from 4th July 1927.

 

I used to own 31435 on the same page in the ledger, a more "normal" 48-key treble instrument - except that it is also tortoiseshell...



#5 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 12:12 AM

OK, we've cross-posted, and my identification was correct.

 

The layout of the buttons, the thumbstraps and finger plates all suggest that it's an English-system concertina, though the ledger doesnt make that clear.

 

It's a special novelty instrument for somebody who performs and usually plays more "normal" concertinas - it would be extremely limiting if it was your only instrument.



#6 Johansson1991

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 12:21 AM

I managed to find the ledger just as you posted the information!

Could you recommend any basic learning material if I were to try to play it?

Are these worth anything?

Thank's a lot Stephen :)



#7 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 12:34 AM

It's more something that you might want to tackle (with all its limitations) after learning to play on a more regular one, but this is such a treasure to the right person (and I know just the man!) that you could do very well with it if you wanted to sell or swap it for another instrument.



#8 Johansson1991

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 12:45 AM

You seem to be the man in the know!

It's incredible that the Wheatstone history is so well preserved.

I won't make any decisions as to it's future just yet, but i will say i've been yearning to learn it's history for a long time!

 

Thanks a lot for your input!



#9 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 01:11 AM

We are very fortunate that my late friend Harry Minting (who was Wheatstone's Sales Manager in 1960) rescued as much of the historical records as he did.

 

Does your auntie know anything about the history of this concertina? It's so unusual that it would have had to be commissioned specially from Wheatstone's, possibly by a professional player...



#10 Daniel Hersh

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 01:46 AM

You seem to be the man in the know!

 

Yes, he is.  Stephen is one of the most knowledgable concertina experts in the world.

 

It's more something that you might want to tackle (with all its limitations) after learning to play on a more regular one, but this is such a treasure to the right person (and I know just the man!) that you could do very well with it if you wanted to sell or swap it for another instrument.

 

Stephen - do you have any concerns about transporting tortoise shell across international lines?



#11 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 02:16 AM

Stephen - do you have any concerns about transporting tortoise shell across international lines?

 

That begs the billion-dollar question these days Daniel, one that's been debated many times in the past but now needs definitively answering - but I've always been very sceptical about any of them being made of real tortoiseshell anyway, especially when you consider that these instruments followed-on from the advent of celluloid for covering accordions in the 1920s, and that celluloid was originally used to manufacture imitation ivory and tortoiseshell items...


Edited by Stephen Chambers, 13 November 2014 - 07:30 PM.


#12 Johansson1991

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 06:44 AM

We are very fortunate that my late friend Harry Minting (who was Wheatstone's Sales Manager in 1960) rescued as much of the historical records as he did.

 

Does your auntie know anything about the history of this concertina? It's so unusual that it would have had to be commissioned specially from Wheatstone's, possibly by a professional player...

Incredible.  Hats off to Harry.

All I can say is that she got it off a man called Myer Sutherland.  Apparently he travelled a lot in his youth, whether it was simply a souvineer or he played, I couldn't say.



#13 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 07:52 AM

All I can say is that she got it off a man called Myer Sutherland.  Apparently he travelled a lot in his youth, whether it was simply a souvineer or he played, I couldn't say.

 

I can't say that I know of him, but there was a Myer Sutherland who was born in 1908, and died Malvern, Victoria 1978 - could that be the man?



#14 Johansson1991

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 08:45 AM

 

All I can say is that she got it off a man called Myer Sutherland.  Apparently he travelled a lot in his youth, whether it was simply a souvineer or he played, I couldn't say.

 

I can't say that I know of him, but there was a Myer Sutherland who was born in 1908, and died Malvern, Victoria 1978 - could that be the man?

 

I can't say definitively but the odds would be in your favor... any significance?



#15 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 09:15 AM

This one?
 

"MYER SUTHERLAND PTY. LTD., 27 Flinders-Iane, Melbourne;

1 commercial goods vehicle (16 cwt.) to operate as a

specially canstructed vehicle in the course of business

as "frock manufacturers "-{a) within a radius of 50

mHes of own premises in Melbourne-own goods,

( B ) throughout the State of Victoria for· the display

and demonstration of own goods with the ability to

make an urgent incidental delivery."


(Victoria Gazette No. 245.-September 25, 1957)

Edited by blue eyed sailor, 13 November 2014 - 09:15 AM.


#16 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 09:57 AM

I can't say that I know of him, but there was a Myer Sutherland who was born in 1908, and died Malvern, Victoria 1978 - could that be the man?

 

I can't say definitively but the odds would be in your favor... any significance?

 

The significance being that he's the only one of that name I can find, but I don't want to waste hours trying to find out anything more about him and then discover that it couldn't possibly be him...

 

There was a very famous duet concertina player known as Alexander Prince, whose real name was Sutherland, but he was earlier and I don't suppose there's any connection.



#17 conzertino

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 11:01 AM

Here: http://www.horniman....ES/D2P0680S.HTM you can see the little one in the Wheatstone ledgers.

 

Lovely instrument! I have sent you a personal message;-)

 



#18 Johansson1991

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 07:42 PM

This one?
 

"MYER SUTHERLAND PTY. LTD., 27 Flinders-Iane, Melbourne;

1 commercial goods vehicle (16 cwt.) to operate as a

specially canstructed vehicle in the course of business

as "frock manufacturers "-{a) within a radius of 50

mHes of own premises in Melbourne-own goods,

( B ) throughout the State of Victoria for· the display

and demonstration of own goods with the ability to

make an urgent incidental delivery."

 

(Victoria Gazette No. 245.-September 25, 1957)

 

My father can confirm it was the Myer who died in Malvern in 1978 and he was a 'frock manufacturer' designed cloths.






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