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Wheatsone Jeffries Duet On Ebay


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#1 cherrygsc

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 03:09 PM

I am posting here at the suggestion of another. I have just listed what I have been advised is a Wheatstone (possibly) Jeffries Duet System Concertina on ebay. Item number is 7326256840. I have much experience selling (& buying) on ebay and thus my choice to sell it via that forum. Since I listed it, a reader has stated that it is actually not a Jefferies System but a McCaan (sp). I listed 10 photos on ebay with the description that I was given by the concertina expert at the House of Musical Traditions in Takoma Park, Md where I hand carried the instrument for an expert opinion. I would welcome any input about this instrument, primarily because I want it to get into the right hands and for any new owner not to be disappointed.

#2 Chris Timson

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 03:47 PM

I agree. It is most likely a MacCann duet. It is definitely not a Jeffries duet. See the Concertina FAQ for keyboard charts for all the duet systems and a nice picture of a MacCann duet.

May I thank you for taking the trouble to get it right.

Chris

#3 cherrygsc

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 01:38 PM

I am posting here at the suggestion of another. I have just listed what I have been advised is a Wheatstone (possibly) Jeffries Duet System Concertina on ebay. Item number is 7326256840. I have much experience selling (& buying) on ebay and thus my choice to sell it via that forum. Since I listed it, a reader has stated that it is actually not a Jefferies System but a McCaan (sp). I listed 10 photos on ebay with the description that I was given by the concertina expert at the House of Musical Traditions in Takoma Park, Md where I hand carried the instrument for an expert opinion. I would welcome any input about this instrument, primarily because I want it to get into the right hands and for any new owner not to be disappointed.

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#4 cherrygsc

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 02:01 PM

I am a bit frustrated in my attempt to sell this instrument. Ebay does not allow me to make any changes in the listing (ie. change the title from jeffries to jeffries"?" or to add the word MacCann) BECAUSE the listing has a bid. I cannot change the title, add a photo or make any other salient changes. In the meantime, feeling that I have paid for ($50) an expert opinion as to the identification of this instrument, that may very well be incorrect, I am stuck with the option of cancelling the listing, but then what do I have? - I can relist but use what wording? I have only the visual identification of people have made using my posted pictures vs. the paid-for tactile and visual inspection/appraisal of an "expert". What's an honest seller to do? The next closest place to me for another "expert opinion" is Mass. and a trip there (from Md) is certainly not worth the time/or money.

#5 Ken_Coles

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 02:53 PM

Well, if you are a musician, or have one handy (make them a cup of coffee or tea for their effort), a real test would be to sit down with a pitch reference and make a diagram of the notes for each button, both in and out bellows direction. Even better would be to also note what octave each note lies in. (See Chris's site, that he referenced above, for examples). Many folks here could tell you in a few seconds exactly what concertina system that diagram shows.

#6 JimLucas

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 03:52 PM

What's an honest seller to do? The next closest place to me for another "expert opinion" is Mass. and a trip there (from Md) is certainly not worth the time/or money.

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My suggestions:
.. 1) Get in touch with Nick Robertshaw. He plays the Jeffries duet system, and I believe is in the D.C. area.
.. 2) If he says it's a Jeffries system, you can add that comment to your auction. If he says it's not, you should be able to request the return of your appraisal fee. In the latter case, you should presumably re-list.
.. 3) If it's neither a Maccann nor a Jeffries system, you should consider the possibility that it is an instrument with a non-standard keyboard layout. Maccann was the most common duet; Crane/Triumph was next most common, but yours definitely isn't that. But being neither Maccann or Crane/Triumph does not necessarily make it a Jeffries. Pitt-Taylor designed several layouts which some might classify as "variants" of the Maccann, since at least the ones I've seen diagrammed were all 6 rows across, and somewhat resembled Maccanns. I have one of the later ones, and I suspect that at least some of the P-T earlier designs were also built. (Another unusual -- perhaps unique -- duet is the avatar of Concertina.net member "aeolina". But that is definitely not the same design as yours.)

I would agree with others that what you have is definitely not a Jeffries-system duet. Though Jeffries duets came with different numbers of buttons, the basic design of the system is incompatible with the detailed layout of the buttons on yours. Your photos seem to show only the left side, but the button layout exactly matches the left-side layout of a standard 46-button Maccann duet, which can be seen on the third page of this PDF document. To be absolutely sure whether it's a Maccann or some unusual variant (e.g., a Pitt-Taylor), you should let us know what note goes with each button. (If that's not something you can do, you should find a musical friend who can.)

I wish you the best, but I'm pretty sure that if you want to do things right, you'll have to cancel the auction and re-list.

By the way, to me the decoration on the bellows ends is unusual. I wonder if others can comment on that.

#7 cherrygsc

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 05:25 PM

Thanks for the detailed responses. I have indeed tried (unsuccessfully) to contact Nick Robertshaw both via email (5/19/05) thru his webpage AND by telephone (5/25/05). If Ms. Morrison in Takoma Park, MD was correct, Mr. Robertshaw does not live very far from me, perhaps 30ish miles and I suggested in my correspondence to him that perhaps he might be willing to meet to take a look at this instrument. I am not musically inclined, and when I took the instrument to The House of Musical Traditions (a 2 hour round trip) Ms. Morrison did not give me any information regarding the various keys. I know that I should really cancel this listing and I suppose that I will, but I am genuinely disheartened at the fact that I thought I had done just what was needed to take care of listing this beautiful instrument properly. P.S. Ms Morrision also commented on the "decorations" (my word) on the ends of the instrument - that she had never seen such before.

#8 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 09:39 AM

I have just listed what I have been advised is a Wheatstone (possibly) Jeffries Duet System Concertina on ebay. ... a reader has stated that it is actually not a Jefferies System but a McCaan (sp)

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I would have posted sooner, but I was up in Dublin for a few days, and also it is the Fleadh Nua in Ennis. :rolleyes:

As has been commented, this certainly looks like a perfectly standard Wheatstone 46-key Maccann duet, which is almost certainly what it is, unless somebody has "modified" it ! The easiest way to differentiate between the three duet systems usually encountered is that the Maccann has six horizontal rows of buttons, the Crane has five, also horizontal, and the Jeffries has four vertical rows. But, as has been mentioned, there are some (thankfully rare) "oddities" too ...

Here is a fingering chart for a 46-key Maccann duet :
Posted Image

It is from A Chat with Brian Hayden, an article on the Concertina.net website, as well as a Jeffries duet chart (below), from the same source :
Posted Image


And here's an image of a "proper" Jeffries duet
Posted Image
from the www.concertinaconnection.com website, so you can see what one should look like.


P.S. Ms Morrision also commented on the "decorations" (my word) on the ends of the instrument - that she had never seen such before.

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I have seen bellows frames decorated with upholstery nails/tacks like that on only a handful of mid-19th century German accordions & concertinas, though many of the larger German concertinas used similar nails for "feet". They were probably added simply for decoration, though perhaps also for protection.

Now, where are my car keys ? I'm off to Ennis ... ;)

Edited by Stephen Chambers, 29 May 2005 - 09:41 AM.


#9 twisper

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 10:48 AM

  Ebay does not allow me to make any changes in the listing (ie. change the title from jeffries to jeffries"?"  or to  add the word MacCann) BECAUSE the listing has a bid.  I cannot  change the title, add a photo or make any other salient changes.

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There is a way to rectify your listing with honor.........notify the current bidder(s) that you intend to re-list the item with the proper identification. Then cancel the listing, and re-list with the correct information. You can also explain the reason for re-listing. I'm sure all interested parties will be able to relocate your listing, and you will gain the appreciation of bidders by ensuring that your description is accurate. Best wishes..............Forrest

#10 cherrygsc

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 11:20 AM

Thanks for that suggestion and I have done so. As soon as I hear back from him/her I will end the listing for the reason that there was an error in the listing. I will relist as I too, now, am convinced after consuming all of the extremely helpful correspondence and hours more of internet research, that this is a MacCann/McCann (I even have learned about the issues re: the correct spelling.) Thanks again to all!!! PS I too will be contacting the House of Musical Traditions on Tues. and will post their response to my unhappiness.

#11 cherrygsc

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 04:54 PM

I apologize if I am cluttering your forum, but felt I owed a short update to all of those kind enough to offer input. I have ended the eBay listing for my instrument and will list again w/ better photos. I e-mailed House of Musical Traditions and received a rapid telephone reply from the owner, David Eiser, who had spoken with Ms. Morrison. He was kind enough to offer an apology stating this has never happened before and granted his permission to post a "retraction" in my next eBay listing for the incorrect identification that I received from Ms. Morrison. Perhaps more importantly to this posting, if the concertina sells in the next listing, I will absolutely, positively contribute to this forum via Paypal. You are a wonderfully helpful bunch of folks and I am very, very appreciative. Thank You.

#12 Paul Read

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 05:20 AM

I don't know Ms Morrison at the House of Musical Traditions but I have heard good things about her in the past. As you can see from all the replies, this wasn't an easy one to identify. It took a few of the C.Net experts to get there so you shouldn't be too hard on her.

#13 Greg Jowaisas

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 07:06 AM

Paul,
I'm not sure an inexperienced buyer, who depended on the ebay description or the expert opinion would be so forgiving when they discovered their "Jeffries duet "wasn't!

If a seller's reputation is to count for something; if an opinion is to carry some weight, it is important to be reasonably accurate. I think the seller realized this as cnet members and other afficionados responded. He was depending on an expert opinion. It appears that someone at House of Musical Traditions realizes this too in offering a retraction.

It is one thing for me to suggest a folk remedy for joint pain to a friend. It is entirely different to charge for the advice. It would again be different if I charged and claimed I had credentials to treat the condition. If I was a certified Rheumatologist and got it wrong...!

I have heard positive things about the House of Musical Traditions and the helpfulness of Ms. Morrison. I'm sure no harm was meant and only helpfulness was intended, but... Sometimes the best answer to a question is to admit we just don't know.

In this instance, I think things turned out much better than just "Buyer Beware".
Kudos to those who cared enough to point out discrepencies. Congratulations to all those with the courage to admit they made mistakes and had the convictions to make the mistakes right. May we all learn.

Regards,

Greg J

Edited for spelling which will be the "death of me!" I'll keep working on getting it right.

Edited by Greg Jowaisas, 31 May 2005 - 07:11 AM.


#14 Paul Read

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 11:48 AM

Greg,
Thanks for your well considered response. Duets aren't my area and perhaps the determination was clearer than I thought.

#15 Greg Jowaisas

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 12:58 PM

I certainly don't have anywhere near the experience or expertise of many who belong to and visit cnet. I do have a Jeffries duet and take an interest in them when they appear on ebay. The appearance of the "Wheatstone Jeffries system" certainly seemed to me to be a rare bird sighting! ("How rare a sighting" I will leave to the experts.)

I was struck by how unfamiliar the button layout was compared to my Jeffries and it prompted me to visit the http://www.maccann-duet.com/ site which has examples of button patterns for Maccanns, Cranes and Jeffries. Even when the button configuration matched the left side of a 46b Maccann I wasn't prepared to make a public declaration. I left that to certainly braver and hopefully more experienced souls.

But I would like to point out that the information I used to confirm my intuition was readilly available on the net. I believe the "experts" on Antique Roadshow" avail themselves of each others opinions and do "off camera" research on the net before making their pronouncements. Seems sensible.

Regards,

Greg

#16 cherrygsc

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 04:49 PM

Perhaps this will help clear the good name of The House of Musical Traditions (HMT) as well as help this forum. I, in no way, thought that the misidentification of my instrument was intentional....just that the "identification" was a bit hastey (sp?), in fact - it was immediate. But, in Mr. Eisner's message to me, he readily agreed to refund my full $50 appraisal fee which, when received, I will forward at once to you guys. You folks are the ones who really "did" my appraisal. Thanks once again, and ....for the record...the people at HMT are extremely nice people and were very apologetic for the mistake made in identifying this instrument..

#17 tony

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 06:22 AM

Nice one Greg, I agree with all that you say here.

#18 Paul Read

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 06:59 AM

But I would like to point out that the information I used to confirm my intuition was readilly available on the net.  I believe the "experts" on Antique Roadshow" avail themselves of each others opinions and do "off camera" research on the net before making their pronouncements.  Seems sensible.

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I think our experts (Stephen, Jim etc) use these resources to check their beliefs too. The good thing about these types of questions is that they result in more available knowledge for all of us.




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