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20 Key Scholer Anglo


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#1 Bill N

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 02:56 PM

Before anyone jumps on me, I know this is a cheap concertina :lol: !

I've been enjoying my Rochelle, and a daily visit here, and seem to have been bitten by a weakened strain of the concertina bug discussed a few weeks back.

I was in an antiques mall today, and picked up a 20 key Scholer for $45 Can. It's red perloid over plywood, with snazzy white bellows, lots of little pressed metal decorative doodads, and is in pristine condition. Looks like it was never played. All the reeds sound nicely, and it is in tune! I applied the hanging bellows test, and it was still opening at 30 seconds. No shortage of air, even playing big chords. It is double reeded, and has a pleasantly cheesy tremelo effect that reminds me of my old Hohner Echo Harp.

I snapped it up thinking it would be a good canoe camping concertina (I know, some of you think the Rochelle would suffice perfectly well in that capacity! ) When I got it home, I discovered that it is tuned G/D! Is that a usual tuning? It's a bit of a bonus, as I'm attending a Newfoundland music camp in August (will try button accordion, tin whistle and bodhran), and they have D/A accordions and D whistles (not sure what key the bodhran's are in :D ), so I should be able to jam along,

From the archives, I learned that Scholer is no longer in business. When did they cease production, and any ideas on how to date a Scholer? (there's a straight line for you) Just an historian's curiousity.

#2 wntrmute

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 04:29 PM

any ideas on how to date a Scholer?

Dinner and candle-light!

*ba-duh-dup*
Thank's, I'll be here all week, try the veal and remember to tip your waitresses!

Yeah, I couldn't resist the straight line there.

#3 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 09:49 PM

From the archives, I learned that Scholer is no longer in business. When did they cease production, and any ideas on how to date a Scholer? (there's a straight line for you) Just an historian's curiousity.

Bill,

Though similar instruments were being made in Klingenthal for many years previously, Scholer seems to have been a post-war brand that came to an end around the time of the collapse of the communist GDR regime. But as they didn't really change much, if at all, it is virtually impossible to put a more exact date to one.

#4 Bill N

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 07:38 AM

Though similar instruments were being made in Klingenthal for many years previously, Scholer seems to have been a post-war brand that came to an end around the time of the collapse of the communist GDR regime. But as they didn't really change much, if at all, it is virtually impossible to put a more exact date to one.


Thanks Stephen,

I Googled around a bit, and saw identical examples labelled "Made in Germany East", whereas mine is "Made in Germany", so perhaps they hung on for a bit. I had it apart last night, and was amazed by the cheap & cheerful construction! It reminded me very much of my son's 60s era Hohner Erica.

edited to add: It just struck me that it isn't very different than the technology employed in my Henry Harley, either, although the harley was made with better materials and craftsmanship. But the levers and springs haven't changed at all. In fact, I may add some felt pads to the Scholer (a la Harley) to limit the button travel. My finger tips keep disappearing into the button holes!

Edited by Bill N, 04 July 2008 - 08:59 AM.


#5 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 10:43 AM

I Googled around a bit, and saw identical examples labelled "Made in Germany East", whereas mine is "Made in Germany", so perhaps they hung on for a bit.

I nearly mentioned that you'd occasionally see some early examples marked "GERMANY USSR OCCUPIED" too, and coincidentally one of those has just turned up on eBay: ANTIQUE OLD SCHOLER SQUEEZE BOX ACCORDIAN GERMANY USSR.

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#6 wntrmute

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 11:47 AM

I've always thought that the German design with the buttons along the flat of the concertina would make for uncomfortable play. Either the corner is digging into your leg, or your hands are at an odd angle while playing. Goofy.

#7 Daniel Hersh

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 12:19 PM

I've heard others say that too, but in my own experience I've hardly noticed the slightly different angle when playing them.

I've always thought that the German design with the buttons along the flat of the concertina would make for uncomfortable play. Either the corner is digging into your leg, or your hands are at an odd angle while playing. Goofy.



#8 Bill N

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 03:34 PM

I've always thought that the German design with the buttons along the flat of the concertina would make for uncomfortable play. Either the corner is digging into your leg, or your hands are at an odd angle while playing. Goofy.


I've got slightly larger than average hands, and I do find it uncomfortable compared to the Rochelle. I have to bend my first knuckle up, then curl the second and third back down. I'm going to try adding some height to the palm rests, and making a wider strap.

#9 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 09:56 PM

I've always thought that the German design with the buttons along the flat of the concertina would make for uncomfortable play. Either the corner is digging into your leg, or your hands are at an odd angle while playing. Goofy.

Goofy? He plays a round one :unsure: :

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Edited by Stephen Chambers, 07 July 2008 - 07:58 PM.


#10 curm

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 05:52 PM

Hi, everyone.

I, too, have a Scholer 20 button that I have been attempting to establish the vintage of. Mine has the country of origin
shown as "Made in German Democratic Republic", just to toss another variation into the mix.

My apologies, Bill N, for having added absolutely nothing in regards to your query.

scholer_20_button.jpg

scholer_20_button2.jpg

#11 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:26 PM

Mine has the country of origin
shown as "Made in German Democratic Republic" ...

That's what I'd be more used to seeing on them.

#12 Bill N

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 03:52 PM

Hi, everyone.

I, too, have a Scholer 20 button that I have been attempting to establish the vintage of. Mine has the country of origin
shown as "Made in German Democratic Republic", just to toss another variation into the mix.

My apologies, Bill N, for having added absolutely nothing in regards to your query.


No apologies required. It's interesting to see variations on the theme. Mine is very similar except that it is red and has little pressed metal bits with a rose motif appiled to the corners of the end plates, and plain pressed metal embellishments added to the bellows. I'll try to post photos

As an historian and museum curator I'm loath to mess with artifacts, but having established that this is a late, and far from rare, example I am going to add felt dampers to limit the travel of the buttons, and modify the palm rest to make it more playable.

Edited by Bill N, 09 July 2008 - 01:33 PM.


#13 wntrmute

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 11:46 AM

Did Scholer survive re-unification? That may be when the axe fell on them, or maybe in the troubled times before the wall fell when the State subsidies got re-allocated.

#14 Bill N

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 01:48 PM

Did Scholer survive re-unification? That may be when the axe fell on them, or maybe in the troubled times before the wall fell when the State subsidies got re-allocated.


My specific knowledge of maker's marks doesn't really extend to concertinas, but I know that on German ceramics from the area that became the GDR, "Made in Germany" indicates either 1880-1949, or post 1989. Judging by the materials and condition of my Scholer, and some of Stephen's previous comments about the origins of the company, it doesn't seem likely that it pre-dates the GDR. So it would seem that Scholer survived reunification long enough to label at least one of their products "Made in Germany".

Edited by Bill N, 08 July 2008 - 02:27 PM.


#15 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 09:24 PM

Did Scholer survive re-unification?

They did, at least long enough to get taken over by BGK. I'll try to find out the year from them.

Edited by Stephen Chambers, 08 July 2008 - 09:25 PM.


#16 Bill N

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 01:20 PM

Hi, everyone.

I, too, have a Scholer 20 button that I have been attempting to establish the vintage of. Mine has the country of origin
shown as "Made in German Democratic Republic", just to toss another variation into the mix.



And a bit more variation for the mix. Here are a few photos of my (post 1989?) Scholer that started the thread:



#17 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 07:09 PM

Here are a few photos of my (post 1989?) Scholer that started the thread

Gosh, that's in very new-looking condition. It looks like it left the factory "only yesterday"! :blink:

#18 curm

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 08:45 AM

That must be the deluxe model. Pretty snazzy. :D




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