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Lachenal S/n 16011

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#1 banjojohn

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 09:36 AM

I have recently acquired this instrument, which is missing it's fret baffles and hence also missing the RH end label.  After opening up to check the S/n, I noticed that the inner reed pan paper dials had been so cut as to remove the maker's name and address.  I thought this was a bit strange, as other 're labelled' Lachenals which I have seen, still retain the full reed pan labels.

Has anybody seen this on any other instruments, or offer any explanation as to why this might have been done?16011 Reed Pan 1.jpg

Also of note is the fact that there are valves fitted to all the highest notes, I had understood that this was incorrect, but have also noted it on quite a few similar instruments in the Concertina Museum collection?

16011 Reed Pan 2.jpg

What is the best source of info for Lachenal Serial number production dating, I have tried to date this but have been unable to find anything helpful on line (my internet search skills seem to be lacking!)

I include photos of the action and fret end to aid indentification/dating:

16011 Action.jpg 16011 Fret End.jpg



#2 Mike Pierceall

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 11:51 AM

Only an approximation of the date can be derived since the Lachenal production ledgers are lost to time.  The standard formula used for English systems is: SN divided by 769 and the sum of that added to 1850.  That would give a ballpark figure of around 1870 for your instrument. 

 

In my experience whether or not to valve the highest notes depends on the general air tightness of the instrument.  I've had high notes sound voluntarily when they were valved.  Reed organ manufacturers actually would drill holes in the reed frames to allow air to bleed through to reduce pressure for this reason.  European harmoniums have bleeder valves.  One manufacturer had a mechanism that hovered over the high note reeds in order to prevent them from lifting unless called for.



#3 Theo

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 01:10 PM

 The standard formula used for English systems is: SN divided by 769 and the sum of that added to 1850.  

 

Really?



#4 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 03:25 PM

From the research conclusions in my paper Some Notes on Lachenal Concertina Production and Serial Numbers I came up with a different formula for Lachenal English concertina serial numbers, based on Louis Lachenal becoming independent from Wheatstone's in August 1858, following the expiry of the latter's 1844 Patent, and continuing in production until the summer (say August) of 1933, which is 75 years, and that Lachenal English concertina serial numbers appear to have started around 6,000.

 

So based purely on that, and simply on averages, you deduct 6,000 from the serial number, then dvide the remainder by 69.5 per month, or 833 per annum. But, the crazy thing is, that particuar s/n, 16011, still finishes up as around August 1870!

 

But, there will have been peaks and troughs in English concertina production during those years and such dates cannot be definitive (in fact they can be years out!),  though hopefully ongoing more-detailed research will help to "tweak" such results...



#5 banjojohn

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 04:15 PM

Thanks Mike, Theo and Stephen, for your replies here, but any thoughts about the cut down reed pan labels?



#6 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 12:08 AM

Thanks Mike, Theo and Stephen, for your replies here, but any thoughts about the cut down reed pan labels?

 

Not that unusual...



#7 banjojohn

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 04:33 AM

 

Thanks Mike, Theo and Stephen, for your replies here, but any thoughts about the cut down reed pan labels?

 

Not that unusual...

 

Ok, so this is evident on a number of instruments, but for what reason was it done?



#8 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 07:52 AM

... any thoughts about the cut down reed pan labels?

 

Not that unusual...

 

Ok, so this is evident on a number of instruments, but for what reason was it done?

 

To hide the identity of the maker of course, perhaps to sell it as something else - many were sold with dealer's labels on them. But you'd have to ask the people who did it for their precise reasons, in each case, only it's a bit late for that now - almost a century-and-a-half later... :unsure:



#9 Mike Pierceall

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 12:40 PM

From the research conclusions in my paper Some Notes on Lachenal Concertina Production and Serial Numbers I came up with a different formula for Lachenal English concertina serial numbers, based on Louis Lachenal becoming independent from Wheatstone's in August 1858, following the expiry of the latter's 1844 Patent, and continuing in production until the summer (say August) of 1933, which is 75 years, and that Lachenal English concertina serial numbers appear to have started around 6,000.

 

So based purely on that, and simply on averages, you deduct 6,000 from the serial number, then dvide the remainder by 69.5 per month, or 833 per annum. But, the crazy thing is, that particuar s/n, 16011, still finishes up as around August 1870!

 

But, there will have been peaks and troughs in English concertina production during those years and such dates cannot be definitive (in fact they can be years out!),  though hopefully ongoing more-detailed research will help to "tweak" such results...

Might be interesting to create a spreadsheet that compares both formulas then averages the result of that, though now I'm getting in over my head.  I wonder how these different methods relate to known sales receipts.



#10 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 02:34 PM

Might be interesting to create a spreadsheet that compares both formulas then averages the result of that, though now I'm getting in over my head.

 

The curious thing is that 769 x 8 years = 6,152, so both formulae will produce very similar results from 1858 onwards, but the one you cite also caters for non-existant serial numbers in years before Louis Lachenal was making in his own right...   :rolleyes: 

 

 

I wonder how these different methods relate to known sales receipts.

 

That's the project (for which I initially wrote my article) that Randy Merris is heading, to "tweak" the dating, but original sales receipts are very rare!



#11 nicx66

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 08:02 PM

I noticed that the action has staple-like pivot posts. might that give an idea of when it was made? were the staple posts used in the earlier lachenals?



#12 banjojohn

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 09:12 AM

I noticed that the action has staple-like pivot posts. might that give an idea of when it was made? were the staple posts used in the earlier lachenals?

From a quick glace at Lachenal trebles from S/n 10577 to 28070 (in the Concertina Museum collection), it would appear that two types of action pivots were being used, the bent brass staple and the curved top slotted brass sheet. Generally, it would seem that the staples were used on the budget models and the slotted sheet on the more expensive ones, with the exception of S/n 20678 which is a budget model with the slotted sheet pivots. Conclusion: I don't think you could use this as a means of dating...



#13 Dowright

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 10:05 AM

Why the cutout pan labels? The main explanation is that, when "Louis Lachenal" became "Lachenal & Co." , the new owners "inherited" a supply of left-over "Louis Lachenal" labels. In some instences, they went to the trouble of cutting out the "Louis Lachenal" from the ciricular pan label: in other instances, they left the original label intact.

In my data for Lachenal English concertinas, the first with a Lachenal & Co. label is No. 19070, dating from right around the change in the company name in 1873. Subsequently, there are 9 with "Louis Lachenal" labels, the highest numbered one being No. 22717.

But in the no.19070 to no. 22717 range, there are also a number with "Lachenal and Co." labels. In this range as well as all other ranges, there are obviously a number of instruments labeled with the names of retail dealers. This labeling possibly adding another incentive for cutting the "Louis Lachenal" (or maybe even a "Lachenal & Co.") from a pan label.

 

Incidentally, I independently also date the year of manufacture for No. 16018 to 1870.



#14 SteveS

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:53 AM

Why the cutout pan labels? T

I suspect a dealer passing off the instruments as their own manufacture.



#15 Dowright

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 06:45 PM

Yes Steve, that's the point--retail dealers calling themselves "maker"!



#16 banjojohn

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 06:40 AM

That's interesting 'D', thanks for your insight!   So just to summarize the main points you have made:
 
1870  approx. date of S/n 16011
1873  approx. date of S/n 19070 (with Lachenal & Co pan labels) and name change from Louis Lachenal to Lachenal & Co.
 
If this dating of S/n 16011 is correct, there would have been no need for the pan labels to have the 'Louis' cut from them, as it was made before the name change..

 

So I have a conundrum, in that when I replace the baffles, what label do I glue to the RH side... A Louis Lachenal label might be correct to the time of manufacture, but this instrument may well have had some other retailer's label.. I don't suppose I will ever know who that would have been? 



#17 JimLucas

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 05:50 AM

So I have a conundrum, in that when I replace the baffles, what label do I glue to the RH side... A Louis Lachenal label might be correct to the time of manufacture, but this instrument may well have had some other retailer's label.. I don't suppose I will ever know who that would have been? 

 

Since you will be the new "retailer" next time it's sold, why not put in a label with your own name?  ;)







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