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30 Button Anglo To Identify

help identify unknown anglo

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#1 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 01:50 PM

Does anybody recognise the maker of this recent buy on ebay?

It's in rosewood, and has signs of quality. The levers are riveted but the buttons aren't bushed.

 

I don't recognise the design of the name and model number windows in the fretwork.

There is usually one end that has an oval window, but not in this one.

No sign of a serial number either. Any ideas ?

 

 

1.JPG 3.JPG 4.JPG 7.JPG


Edited by Patrick McMahon, 17 June 2016 - 01:54 PM.


#2 malcolm clapp

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 06:41 PM

It could be a Jeffries, but more likely a Crabb.

Definitely some quality about it.



#3 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 07:04 AM

Yes, I was thinking along the lines of Crabb. The fretwork doesn't look like the fretwork on the wooden-ended Jeffries that I've seen, but I'm sure I haven't seen them all. 

I was thinking Crabb or Shakespeare, but not with any confidence.

The bat-wing shaped name window on the right hand side is fairly distinctive, so I was hoping someone would have seen that before.

 

The rectangular tone chambers pretty much rules out Lachenal and Wheatstone, I think.



#4 Alex West

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 09:51 AM

Patrick

 

The fretwork ends look very similar to an 1870's J Crabb that I have. Mine has a J Crabb stamp in the woodwork on the "push" side of the reed block and the serial number is on the underside of the action block - on both the left hand and right hand side.  It's firly unusual I think to have a Crabb without an identifying stamp or number - unless it was one made for one of the other "Manufacturers" (such as Ball Beavon or Jeffries

 

I've been told that the left hand action can be a distinguishing feature of Crabb vs Jeffries (but I've forgotten what the difference is supposed to be - I suspect it might be more to do with the date of manufacture rather than the Crabb vs Jeffries distinction) and it might be worth sharing a close-up of the bellows papers

 

Alex West



#5 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 05:26 PM

I've found out what it is. It's a C. Jeffries. It has a stamp on one face of the RH action plate. It's pressed into the wood and says C. Jeffries Maker.  It's small and hard to see till you get the light reflecting off it. C Jeffries Maker 1.jpg

 

Many thanks for the replies. Now I need to get it into good condition, and see if I can date it.

I haven't taken it apart yet, so I don't know what keys it's in.


Edited by Patrick McMahon, 19 June 2016 - 05:30 PM.


#6 Theo

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 05:43 AM

. Now I need to get it into good condition, 

 

It's not a job to take on as a first concertina repair!  And as a C Jeffries it is potentially a high value instrument.   The reeds look to be in great condition, so it could be still in it's original tuning, which may well be worth preserving.

 

 

 

I haven't taken it apart yet, so I don't know what keys it's in.

 

You can't rely on the note stampings on the reed frames. Jeffries in BbF often have reed frames stamped as if they were CG.



#7 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 09:39 AM

Thanks, I didn't know that. 

This is definitely a C/G though. I put some air through the reeds on the R/H side, and they all sound apart from three, nice and loud and willing, which is good. I didn't check every reed for what note they are playing, but the first notes in the main rows are the correct ones for C/G. And the tuning isn't bad either. The electronic tuner has them all either on concert pitch, or just below it, so there is no major tuning to be done. 

I would test it again with the concertina assembled, before I ventured to do any fine tuning.

I think it deserves a new bellows to begin with, as the old ones are just about finished. Still working ok, but patched and patched again.

The ends are exactly six inches across flats, which I believe is normal for Jeffries. I think gold tooled would cost a bit but be worth the extra.


Edited by Patrick McMahon, 20 June 2016 - 09:40 AM.


#8 Theo

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 12:01 PM

Not just gold tooled, but consider the quality of bellows too. If I was renovating this I would want the best possible bellows and I would go to Wim Wakker, or the Dippers. The bellows kits that are popular on cheaper instruments are not really the thing. This concertina deserves the best.
But the big question is - what to you plan to do about the damaged fretwork?

#9 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 02:50 PM

I did buy a new bellows for a 30 button Jones from a guy in Ireland, who takes the orders on ebay.

The quality seems very good to me. I originally thought the folds were a bit thick, but they do play in a bit thinner.

And the existing bellows on this Jeffries seem quite thick too, even after all these years, so one of his might be fairly close to the original.

http://www.ebay.co.u...e8AAOxyVX1RscDW 

A finished bellows with gold tooling would work out about three hundred Euros.

 

As far as the fretwork goes, I have repaired fretwork in the past, but not on something of this quality.

I have two options, to rob a scrap lachenal for pieces, or to cut new.

I have a scroll saw, but have never used it in anger, so I'd have to do a few trial runs, which I don't mind.

 

I would trace or print out the existing fretwork on paper, and then copy and replace parts into the missing holes,

until I had a template that I was happy with. 

And then cut out the missing section, and use it to cut the new pieces with the scroll saw.

 

That might seem all wrong to you, but it's what I'm chewing over at the moment.

But any better suggestions would be very welcome.

I'm in no hurry with this, because I didn't buy it to sell on.


Edited by Patrick McMahon, 20 June 2016 - 02:56 PM.


#10 Greg Jowaisas

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 03:31 PM

Patrick,

Our concern is that you have a very rare instrument.   (I believe i've seen only one other genuine rosewood Jeffries with more than 26b in the past 15 years!!  And that one had 30b with two novelty noises so in effect a 28b instrument.  BTW it was tuned in mean tone and had a strong but lovely sound)  Yours really deserves the best possible restoration. Peter O'Conner builds a very serviceable bellows but they are not to be confused with the best available.  In addition the gold stamping that he uses is OK but again is not Jeffries quality.

 

If you have the Dippers restore this instrument it will be done right.  You will have an instrument nearly all of us will envy and should be easy to sell for in excess of 5,000 GBP if the need ever arrived.

 

Your willingness to do the restoration is admirable but the concertina deserves absolute expert attention.  I'm sure you could practice your skills on a grateful rosewood Lachenal which would benefit.

 

Congratulations on your find!  Do meditate on this awhile before proceeding.

 

Greg



#11 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 06:17 PM

Hi Greg,

again, thanks for the advice, and info on the relative uniqueness of the concertina. 

I too have never seen a Jeffries like this one. The last rosewood ended one that I saw up for sale was a fairly odd one, with thick and heavy looking fretwork. I can't remember the tuning or the number of buttons.

It looked more like an early Jones. That's why I had my doubts that this was by Jeffries originally.

( the name stamp looks obvious in the photo, but it's actually hard to see, unless you get the light reflecting at the right angle)

 

My options are a bit limited, timewise and money wise. From what I've heard, the Dippers and Wakkers have a waiting list of about eight years, and as I'm 66, I don't feel inclined to wait years.

I can have this playing and looking pretty good, in a fairly short time, without actually damaging anything that's there, other than the old bellows, which are pretty much scrap.

I don't know how much a high class set of bellows would cost, so I can't really compare.

But if I did what I described, it wouldn't prevent a later full restoration. 

I am fully confident that I wouldn't be damaging any components.

 

Actually, although the outside looks rough, the inside of the reed pans looks pretty new. The inside reeds are clean and bright, and the outside ones have a few speckles, but not at all bad. The photos make them look much worse than they actually are.

 

I got the four reeds that weren't sounding back working in just a few minutes of very gentle manipulation.



#12 Theo

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 02:02 AM

Wim Wakker will make you an excellent set of bellows in a few weeks. As far as I know he doesn't do gold tooling, but that can be added later. His bellows use the very best quality materials. He makes bellows differently for Anglo or English to match how they are played. You can read about them, and get a price, from his website. I have had several bellows made by him and all have been excellent and well worth the price.

I've used bellows by the chap in Ireland and they are fine for more basic instruments, but would not be in keeping with a fine Jeffries.

As to your age - I'm the same age and would not use that as a reason to cut corners on a rare high quality instrument. After all the concertina is around twice our age, and should outlive us both. I'd prefer to be remembered for not finishing a restoration, than for something more negative.

Sorry to go on about this, but I've seen too many good Instruments that have suffered from well meaning but inappropriate repairs.

#13 Theo

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 02:32 AM

 
As far as the fretwork goes, I have repaired fretwork in the past, but not on something of this quality.
I have two options, to rob a scrap lachenal for pieces, or to cut new.
I have a scroll saw, but have never used it in anger, so I'd have to do a few trial runs, which I don't mind.
 
I would trace or print out the existing fretwork on paper, and then copy and replace parts into the missing holes,
until I had a template that I was happy with. 
And then cut out the missing section, and use it to cut the new pieces with the scroll saw.
 
That might seem all wrong to you, but it's what I'm chewing over at the moment.
But any better suggestions would be very welcome.
I'm in no hurry with this, because I didn't buy it to sell on.


The fretwork mostly looks ok. My technique for repairing this sort of damage is to glue in a solid patch first, and then re-cut the fretwork. It's best to cut back the broken edges to a clean edge, then make a card template for the patch. Expect to spend some time with a file adjusting the patch to get a good fit. Finding timber that is a decent match in colour and grain can be quite difficult, but colour can be adjusted with wood stain. Good luck!

#14 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 04:45 AM

Thanks Theo,

I did initially plan to glue in the solid piece and then cut it, but wondered whether it would be safer to cut, and then fit.

I will do a few trial runs to see how I feel about it. I don't want to risk damaging what's there.

 

The ends are actually not as bad as they look. There are no gouges around the bolt heads, which I was really pleased about.

I would rather have the fretwork job than the screwdriver gouges, because I don't know any way to fix that, so that it doesn't show. The minor fretwork repairs that I've done in the past have been invisible when finished, after a final bit of french polish.

From the outside anyway. 

 

I've just removed the LH ends, and the LH reeds are also in excellent condition. They all played first time, and are very willing.

They even start to sound if you just blow the dust off them. 

 

Theo, you might know this. Why did concertina makers cut circular grooves, around the air holes in the action board? They are slightly wider diameter than the pads, I can't see  that they do anything.

I don't NEED to know, but I am scratching my head as to why they did it.


Edited by Patrick McMahon, 21 June 2016 - 04:48 AM.


#15 Theo

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 05:09 AM

The circular grooves are to help get the pads aligned and centred over the hole.

 

I've never tried cutting a new piece of fretwork and then fitting it, but I can see there could be difficulty in avoiding the loss of little bits of wood where the grain is parallel or nearly parallel where the patch and the original would join.  Then you would have the near impossible job of getting several joined edges to line up perfectly.  The big advantage of gluing in a solid patch is that everything is held in place while you do the cutting.  And a hand held piercing saw can give you more control than a powered saw.  



#16 DDF

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 05:42 AM

Hello Patrick,The grooves are for lining the pads up when building the concertina or replacing the pads.Without it is very difficult to place the pads evenly over the holes.If you have not worked in rosewood before there are a couple of things to be aware of it is hard and oily so glueing and polishing is more of an issue than something like mahoany.It smells beautiful when worked(a bit like roses) but is bad for your lungs so mask and ventilation are agood idea.If you use old wood maybe salvaged from furniture sand the surface before starting as the wood tends to go a lot darker, same with the existing concertina end,expect that to darken when you prepare for refinishing.It is best to try and get replacement wood as near to matching the original as possible as stain doesn't really work that well on rosewood.

As others have said here it is a rare instrument and could be easily devalued not just from a finacial point of view .Good luck whatever you decide to do,David.



#17 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 05:43 AM

Thanks Theo, 

that all makes good sense. As you said, finding a nice piece of rosewood to match will be my first job. 

Apart from new pads and valves, which will make it playable.

 

My plan for making a template is to put the end on the scanner, scan an image, and print it out, adjusting the size to get an exact match to the physical endplate. 

I might even be able to cut and paste the image on the pc to get a satisfactory replacement fretwork image using the existing fretwork.

I have done something similar in the past, not on a concertina, and it worked perfectly.

 

Edit. Thanks for that input David. I realised just after I posted what the grooves are for. Which left me feeling a bit thick. I think I worked that out once before, and promptly forgot it again. It becomes obvious, as soon as you think about replacing the pads.

 

I have a couple of rosewood concertina boxes, but I think the wood is too thick. 

I'll keep my eyes peeled. It's not a huge panel that I need, so I might find something tasty at the car boot sale.


Edited by Patrick McMahon, 21 June 2016 - 05:50 AM.


#18 DDF

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 06:04 AM

Patrick,That broken end is solid wood most boxes concertina or otherwise will be veneer.It also appears to be Brazilian rosewood so a lot more difficult to match successfully it will play fine with the end as is so I shouldn't be in a hurry to repair with anything inappropriate,all the best David.






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