I'm starting a new thread regarding a concertina I am currently selling on Ebay .... I'm putting the information in this 'History' section as this is not an attempt by me to promote its sale. It's not a high-value instrument and I am genuinely interested in the history of the instrument and its maker. Whilst I still have it, people can ask questions on points I may not have covered and I can check the instrument.
Really, I should have done this before putting it up for sale, but I expected the Ebay listing to attract attention and there to be some C.net discussion. Nothing's happened on Cnet, though loads of people have viewed it. Maybe the instrument is not as interesting or unusual as I thought - anyway, here's the info ... I'll try and upload some photos too.
cheers Mike Rowbotham
"Joseph Scates Anglo Concertina 22 button in A/E, for restoration
A most unusual 22 button anglo concertina with beautiful rosewood ends and gold embossed bellows. This concertina requires full restoration to be made playable.
The instrument has historical interest. It is labelled on the outside as being made by Joseph Scates and similarly on a label inside, along with the address 27 College Green, Dublin where Scates is known to have lived and worked during the 1850s. The reedplates and frame/ends of the concertina are stamped internally with the serial number 1641. The inner label also carries this number in hand-script.
Joseph Scates is best known for making English concertinas – so far as I can discover, the anglo concertinas that carry his name are often attributed to George Jones. This anglo concertina has many unusual features, which may justify regarding it as genuinely being by Scates, although I am no authority on these matters.
Inside, the concertina has the ‘pillar’ action and square ended reed-frames that are found in many of the English concertinas attributed to Scates. The pitch/tuning of A/E, plus the curious positioning of the notes and buttons is certainly unusual. The only early George Jones 22 button Anglo I can find (the ‘Concertina Museum Collection’) has a normal 5+5 layout to the buttons on each end, with the accidental as a clear ‘extra’ button. By contrast, this Scates anglo has the buttons spread evenly in a 5+6 radial layout; thus the standard ‘rake’ of buttons between the 2 rows is not present.
The pitch is A/E with a single ‘accidental’ button on each side, playing F/G (6th button on the left) and Bb/C (1st button on the right). The bellows are in good condition with no apparent leaks, the reeds are all present (mostly brass; a few steel tongues) and the action is complete and intact; HOWEVER many of the pads and springs leak or are broken. The springs, pads and valves would all need to be replaced – also the hand-straps - to make the instrument playable.
Apart from the need for a full overhaul, the concertina is in pretty good condition; there are a few small pieces of the fretwork missing and the right hand fretwork has been repaired at some time. Also, one end-bolt has partially broken, though it still operates."