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Lachenal Anglos On Ebay Sep. 2006


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#19 Greg Jowaisas

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 10:46 AM

Perhaps we are talking about model and style rather than actual rosewood.

I have been working on the restoration of over a dozen Lachenal anglos and a dozen Lachenal englishes.
Here are some observations:

Of the four 20b "rosewood" Lachenals with fancy fretwork, all the ends were a solid even grained and closed pore wood similar to a low grade walnut. The finish coat included a grain pattern that was stained/painted on to approximate rosewood. Only inspection of the unfinished interior of the ends or looking closely at places of finger wear revealed the "secret" of the rosewood ends. Lachenal must have had some workers who put on the finish that were very good at graining imitation.

I have one 20b dark ended Lachenal with simple fretwork. The ends are solid and the grain is much wilder than mahogany. Might be rosewood, but I'm not convinced.

#7924 is a 32b with baby's cry and whistle. The ends are highly figured and solid rosewood.

30b with simple fretwork and beautiful ends which appear to be rosewood but upon close inspection are grained and stained.

30b piccolo with gorgeous rosewood looking ends. Once again the inside grain does not match the outside, which on closer inspection does not appear to be a veneer, but rather an artful graining/staining job.

The Lachenal englishes I've restored vary in quality. Some have simple loops for pivots; some have the nicer boxed pivot. A few had solid rosewood ends. Many had the grain and stain finishes of varying quality.
Sometimes it was an obvious paint job. Sometimes I could not tell unless I took off the ends.

So, that is my experience. I'd love to hear what the people think who have been repairing for tens of years. The Normans and Dippers and Groffs and Leeses have seen dozens, perhaps hundreds of Lachenals of different quality.

I think the lesson I have learned is to look two or three times when someone says "rosewood".

Regards,

Greg

#20 Paul Read

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 11:30 AM

Perhaps we are talking about model and style rather than actual rosewood.

IGreg


I think you've hit the nail on the head, Greg. For the starting subject of this thread, we are really talking model. I think the use of the terms 'rosewood-ended' and 'mahogany-ended' have become common usage for what is generally observed for the two models. Whether the better quality ones generally described as 'rosewood ended' are solid rosewood, laminated or painted is interesting but perhaps another topic (well worth pursuing). I think also that the cheaper models were predominantly (but it seems not necessarily exclusively) mahogany-ended. I've restored quite a number of instruments over time but I'll be looking closer at the make-up of the ends in future.

#21 squeezora

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 11:38 AM

Hi
I have a rosewood ended Lachenal (english) and the rosewood is actually a veneer planted on a lighter, different grained wood running at right angle to the rosewood (probably mahogany). If you look at the edge of the 30 key described as 'antique-wood' it looks very much as I described my concertina end. If you look at the one now thought to be 'mahogany' this is not a veneer planted on a wood with different grain direction, but seems to be fairly thick and in one piece. Also if you look at the edge of the wood I would be suprised if rose wood that thick would have been used. Having purchased various exotic hardwoods from time to time I have found that mahogany is considerably cheaper than rosewood. Given the poorer quality of woodworking machinery in victorian times I think,whatever the price list seem to say, that rosewood would have been more expensive then as now. I also think that the lighting used for the photography is a bit misleading as it makes the 'mahogany' look darker in most of the pictures and makes the wood look the color of rosewood.
chris


""it makes the 'mahogany' look darker in most of the pictures and makes the wood look the color of rosewood."""

If you download the bottom photo on the right side in it's large version and save it to a file; then load it to a photo editing program where you can enlarge it or lighten it, you will see clearly that it is indeed Rosewood. You can do the same with the photo of it sitting on the case and there you will see a light line around the edge which is the Mahogany (or similar wood) that, I believe, is under the Rosewood veneer.

There is considerable difference in the grain of Rosewood and the grain of Mahogany and if you are versed at all in the difference it will be very clear to you. Once you know the difference, it will be nearly impossible to mistake one for the other. I have had people tell me their concertina ends were Mahogany and the concertina was indeed Rosewood.

I own several wooden ended concertinas and the ends are as follows.

Wheatstone English treble 48 button Serial #7168, 1850s with "Solid Brazilian Rosewood ends"
Wheatstone 1854 48 button Baritone with "Solid Brazilian Rosewood ends"
George Case serial # 44 with "Solid East Indian Amboyna wood ends"
Lachenal Excelsior 1870's or so with "Solid Ebony ends"

I know the difference very clearly between East Indian Rosewood and Brazilian Rosewood the first having a reddish purple tint to it and the latter usually a chocolate/cream with streaks of black.

I have had several Mahogany English made concertinas and am very familiar with the wood on these and the usual quality found in them, which can be very, very good if the instrument is in good condition. I started out on one. I tried a Mahogany anglo, Lachenal I think, when I first started and settled on the English as it worked best for the music I wanted to play.

As far as the design of the fretwork is concerned, you are absolutely right about it being simple, but the early 'Wheatstone at the top of my list also has simple fretwork, but nevertheless solid Rosewood ends! So now for those who are interested and looked at the photos, you have seen a simple fretted Rosewood Anglo.

Why bother going through all this effort to prove a point. Very simple. Because the person who bought the concertina might read what you have said and be mislead. Especially if they are a new person and/or as is very likely, they don't know the difference between the various woods.

I am willing to back up every word I say here as being accurate, even down to a wager of concertinas.

My father tells me a story about some Canadians who were in the Military some many years ago. They invited him over to their home near Strasbourg. While he was there they proudly showed him their Rosewood kitchen table and benches that they bought from a German furniture store. My father never told them that the set was actually made out of Larch!!!! What an incrediable salesman that German guy was!

jd

#22 PeterT

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 11:57 AM

Hi
I have a rosewood ended Lachenal (english) and the rosewood is actually a veneer planted on a lighter, different grained wood running at right angle to the rosewood (probably mahogany). If you look at the edge of the 30 key described as 'antique-wood' it looks very much as I described my concertina end. If you look at the one now thought to be 'mahogany' this is not a veneer planted on a wood with different grain direction, but seems to be fairly thick and in one piece. Also if you look at the edge of the wood I would be suprised if rose wood that thick would have been used. Having purchased various exotic hardwoods from time to time I have found that mahogany is considerably cheaper than rosewood. Given the poorer quality of woodworking machinery in victorian times I think,whatever the price list seem to say, that rosewood would have been more expensive then as now. I also think that the lighting used for the photography is a bit misleading as it makes the 'mahogany' look darker in most of the pictures and makes the wood look the color of rosewood.
chris


""it makes the 'mahogany' look darker in most of the pictures and makes the wood look the color of rosewood."""

If you download the bottom photo on the right side in it's large version and save it to a file; then load it to a photo editing program where you can enlarge it or lighten it, you will see clearly that it is indeed Rosewood. You can do the same with the photo of it sitting on the case and there you will see a light line around the edge which is the Mahogany (or similar wood) that, I believe, is under the Rosewood veneer.

There is considerable difference in the grain of Rosewood and the grain of Mahogany and if you are versed at all in the difference it will be very clear to you. Once you know the difference, it will be nearly impossible to mistake one for the other. I have had people tell me their concertina ends were Mahogany and the concertina was indeed Rosewood.

I own several wooden ended concertinas and the ends are as follows.

Wheatstone English treble 48 button Serial #7168, 1850s with "Solid Brazilian Rosewood ends"
Wheatstone 1854 48 button Baritone with "Solid Brazilian Rosewood ends"
George Case serial # 44 with "Solid East Indian Amboyna wood ends"
Lachenal Excelsior 1870's or so with "Solid Ebony ends"

I know the difference very clearly between East Indian Rosewood and Brazilian Rosewood the first having a reddish purple tint to it and the latter usually a chocolate/cream with streaks of black.

I have had several Mahogany English made concertinas and am very familiar with the wood on these and the usual quality found in them, which can be very, very good if the instrument is in good condition. I started out on one. I tried a Mahogany anglo, Lachenal I think, when I first started and settled on the English as it worked best for the music I wanted to play.

As far as the design of the fretwork is concerned, you are absolutely right about it being simple, but the early 'Wheatstone at the top of my list also has simple fretwork, but nevertheless solid Rosewood ends! So now for those who are interested and looked at the photos, you have seen a simple fretted Rosewood Anglo.

Why bother going through all this effort to prove a point. Very simple. Because the person who bought the concertina might read what you have said and be mislead. Especially if they are a new person and/or as is very likely, they don't know the difference between the various woods.

I am willing to back up every word I say here as being accurate, even down to a wager of concertinas.

My father tells me a story about some Canadians who were in the Military some many years ago. They invited him over to their home near Strasbourg. While he was there they proudly showed him their Rosewood kitchen table and benches that they bought from a German furniture store. My father never told them that the set was actually made out of Larch!!!! What an incrediable salesman that German guy was!

jd


Juliette,

You never cease to amaze me. ;)

Peter.

#23 Paul Read

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 01:37 PM

As far as the design of the fretwork is concerned, you are absolutely right about it being simple, but the early 'Wheatstone at the top of my list also has simple fretwork, but nevertheless solid Rosewood ends! So now for those who are interested and looked at the photos, you have seen a simple fretted Rosewood Anglo.

Why bother going through all this effort to prove a point. Very simple. Because the person who bought the concertina might read what you have said and be mislead. Especially if they are a new person and/or as is very likely, they don't know the difference between the various woods.

I am willing to back up every word I say here as being accurate, even down to a wager of concertinas.

jd


Great stuff - but it's still the cheaper model!

#24 Dave Prebble

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 02:03 PM

Referring to the original posting,

Instrument 1 is a typical rosewood ended Lachenal. The grain is heavily obscured by the dark red/brown polish so common on these instruments. The rosewood grain is most evident in the areas on the palm rest where the polish has worn off. I have seen a lot of these instruments either with a veneered top surface or cut from the solid.

Instrument 2 is undoubtably Mahogany look carefully at the very light colour where the finish has chipped off and in the holes where the fret has been cut. Also, the alternate broad light & dark bandings where the grain reverses (so characteristic of mahoganies) are clearly evident, if not accentuated. I suspect that this box has been re-finished in the not too distant past and that a fairly penetrating stain was applied prior to the varnish being applied. Possibly when the bellows were tidied up and non-standard fancy papers were fitted ?

The dark element of grain in rosewood is typically much narrower than this 'banding'. I have spent years piano polishing and restoring both antiques and concertinas and have polished acres of rosewood and mahogany and to my eye, this bears little or no resemblance to Brazillian rosewood.


Regards
Dave

edited to remove last paragraph, posted in error.

Edited by Dave Prebble, 26 September 2006 - 04:37 PM.


#25 squeezora

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 03:01 PM

(btw Instrument No.2 was up for sale in March 2004 labelled as 'rosewood' and I had no doubts then that it was mahogany either )



Was it? Where?

#26 Paul Read

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 03:28 PM



(btw Instrument No.2 was up for sale in March 2004 labelled as 'rosewood' and I had no doubts then that it was mahogany either )



Was it? Where?


Hey you guys,

Are you having the bet? :)

#27 PeterT

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 03:43 PM

Hey you guys,

Are you having the bet? :)

If so, as I started the post, perhaps I should hold the "money" :)

Peter.

#28 Dave Prebble

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 04:43 PM

Hi

My apologies to all.
My first attempt to edit out the last paragraph clearly did not work. Just as I clicked on the 'post edit' button my internet connection crashed.

That paragraph regarding the instrument 'being on sale in 2004' was posted in error following a mix up of photos due solely to my own ineptitude.

Regarding the question of what wood it is, I have done as others here, and posted my own honest opinion based on my experience.
No more, no less.

Regards
Dave

#29 Daniel Hersh

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 01:53 AM

Some more recent Lachenal activity on eBay:

A metal-ended 30-button (unknown key) with rather worn bellows sold for $1721/920.

A metal-ended 32-button G/D in nice shape from Chris Algar sold for $2900/1550.

A mahogany ended 28-button C/G sold for $512. Unless I'm missing something, someone got a good deal on that one.

And still active are this 30-button in unknown key which I believe is a mahogany-ended Lachenal and this 26-button in C/G with problematic bellows from Chris Algar.

It seems the market has spoken.

For the record, these concertinas achieved:

$2021/1063

$1625/855

637

I'll keep fingers crossed that you can pick up a suitable instrument at an attractive price.

Regards,
Peter.

This seems strange to me. Why would an unrestored rosewood ended 30-button go for almost $500 more than a mahogany ended 30-button in restored/playable condition? Are the rosewood Lachenals really that much better? Given the apparent market for 30-button instruments, $1625 for a 30-button C/G seems quite low. But maybe someone can fill me in.



#30 Theo

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 05:26 AM

Some more recent Lachenal activity on eBay:
And still active are this 30-button in unknown key which I believe is a mahogany-ended Lachenal and ...


No sign of "steel reeds" marking on this one, so its probably brass reeded, which makes it much less desirable.

#31 Daniel Hersh

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 03:37 PM

And in addition to these we now have an active listing for what I believe to be a rosewood-ended 32-button in unknown key.

Some more recent Lachenal activity on eBay:

A metal-ended 30-button (unknown key) with rather worn bellows sold for $1721/920.

A metal-ended 32-button G/D in nice shape from Chris Algar sold for $2900/1550.

A mahogany ended 28-button C/G sold for $512. Unless I'm missing something, someone got a good deal on that one.

And still active are this 30-button in unknown key which I believe is a mahogany-ended Lachenal and this 26-button in C/G with problematic bellows from Chris Algar.

It seems the market has spoken.

For the record, these concertinas achieved:

$2021/1063

$1625/855

637

I'll keep fingers crossed that you can pick up a suitable instrument at an attractive price.

Regards,
Peter.

This seems strange to me. Why would an unrestored rosewood ended 30-button go for almost $500 more than a mahogany ended 30-button in restored/playable condition? Are the rosewood Lachenals really that much better? Given the apparent market for 30-button instruments, $1625 for a 30-button C/G seems quite low. But maybe someone can fill me in.



#32 Chris Timson

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 10:43 AM

And in addition to these we now have an active listing for what I believe to be a rosewood-ended 32-button in unknown key.

Someone has been ... disrespecful to that box. Pity. I hope it finds someone who'll restore it properly.

Chris

#33 Judy in Poway

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 12:15 AM

Today was the day that I finally figured out that if I continued to scroll down in the discussion forum I could read more current replies (yes, I am technologically "disadvantaged".) So it is with great fascination that I read the lengthy discussion on the $1625 Mahogany versus Rosewood-ended concertina since I am the one that bought it. It was quite the scary venture for me since I am, indeed, a relative beginner who had gone in search of an instrument with real "concertina" reeds while I "wait out" the two year list for a Kensington. The instrument arrived from Juliette Daum in France. A reed had popped out, possibly in shipping, which I was able to take care of. However, there are still three problematic buttons on the far right side that I am trying to troubleshoot. Are there any questions that you would like to ask me that might put an end to your Mahogany vs Rosewood debate? Unfortunately I don't know much about woods. However, I do think that it's been re-stained because the wear areas are the same color as the rest of the ends. It also appears to have and eighth inch veneer.

#34 chris

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 08:14 AM

Interesting! the phrase 'vested interest' comes to mind
chris

#35 DavidFR

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 11:04 AM

If you download the bottom photo on the right side in it's large version and save it to a file; then load it to a photo editing program where you can enlarge it or lighten it, you will see clearly that it is indeed Rosewood. You can do the same with the photo of it sitting on the case and there you will see a light line around the edge which is the Mahogany (or similar wood) that, I believe, is under the Rosewood veneer.


However, I do think that it's been re-stained because the wear areas are the same color as the rest of the ends. It also appears to have and eighth inch veneer.


Well it seems that there is agreement on veneer over another kind of wood, most likely mahogany. Is this veneer likely to have been a different kind of wood from the base (ie rosewood over mahogany), or is it more likely to have been stained or painted to resemble a fancier wood than it actually is? I'm no expert on woods, but maybe you could take the instrument to an expert nearby to get an opinion based on actual examination. This topic seems to have stirred up so much debate in this forum that I, for one, would be interested in a pronouncement from an unrelated third party.

No matter what wood it is and whether or not it's a "lower-end" model, congratulations on and best of luck with your new purchase. I think you got a very reasonable deal even if a couple buttons need a little work, and I think you'll get many years of enjoyment from the instrument. I played a similar-looking 20-button for a number of years (though with riveted action) and found it quite satisfactory during that time.

Our Kensingtons might incidentally end up being part of the same batch, as I expect to receive mine in a similar time frame.

-David

*edited to fix the second quote box.

Edited by DavidFR, 11 October 2006 - 01:37 PM.


#36 Paul Read

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 11:19 AM

I guess that as 'Squeezora' was in possession of the instrument at the time of the discussions she should know with certainty whether it had a veneer or not.




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