Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
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Anatomy of an anglo concertina

By Paul Schwartz
Photos by Phil Ibbotson

These are a series of excellent photos sent in my Phil Ibbotson. Phil's concertina is a 20-button C/G anglo, restored by Dave Elliot (of the Concertina Maintenance Manual fame) in February 1997. While it is certainly a vintage concertina, made in England, neither Phil nor I know exactly who made it or when, although it doesn't seem to be a Lachenal. Phil says: "I still don't have a maker's name for this box -- it's identified with number 3181 as you can see. [...] Maybe someone out there will be able to identify it and come up with a history, or some information?" If you have any ideas, be sure to let Phil know!. The only thing I can guess is that it might be a Jones? I was surprised to see the parallel reed chambers, although this is the first 20-key reed pan I've seen, so maybe it's not so unusual. All I know is that Wheatstones and -- as far as I know -- all 30+ key Lachenals have radial reed pans.

In the photos, you can clearly see the brass reeds and brass reed frames. This is a good example of "hook and arm" action. As you can see, the lever arm has a little "U" in it which rests in the hole in the post going into the board. This works quite well and is rugged, but allows more play and much greater friction than the "riveted" action used in high end and modern make concertinas. While you can see the felt bushings in the button holes (the red material), another reason for increased friction and noise in this mechanism (virtually identical to that of a Lachenal) is the lack of bushings around the button holes.

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