Jump to content

Myrtle's cook

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Myrtle's cook

  1. Like blue eyed sailor my regular box is a Lachenal Excellsior EC (from 1880s I think) - I have had this for nearly 20 years - although there was a playing gap of perhaps 10 years until I picked it up again about two years ago. The intervening time spent on guitar and dulcimer seemed to have improved my musical ability. For my purpose (mainly song accompaniment) the Excellsior has an ideal tone and volume. I have a 1920s Wheatsone EC 48 model 6 which certainly has a more responsive action and is more airtight - but although a joy to play it is a little too loud for my immediate needs.


    Perhaps one day Santa might bring me an Aeola TT/Edeophone TT with brass reeds to tempt me away from my Excellsior, but until then we are likely to remain together.

  2. This is excellent - thank you for sharing. As a guitar and concertina player I now think I may have a split personality.


    I wonder if there is a further iteration of this chart differentiating those of us who play, anglo, English, Maccan, Crane, Hayden etc?! But then perhaps best not, you can know too much about yourself!

  3. Like Conzertino I too have been in touch with the seller whose responses ring true as those of a serious concertina player. Indeed they were very helpful, informative and prompt.The instrument apparently originates from Chris Algar in the 1980s and used to be played by the seller in a West Country concertina group.


    If there is/are anyone out there who knows the instrument in this context their impression would be very helpful information with which to triangulate the other information for what seems to be a genuine sale (shame it wasn't offered via C-net first!)

  4. I'd certainly agree with Geoff not to use Epoxy, what ever glue is used needs to be easily reversible.


    I also play the mountain dulcimer and have encountered this same problem - a local luthier repaired it by cleaning the joints then using a water soluble glue of some sort. A cheap repair and I think he was happy to be wotrking on something other than a guitar. You might want to visit the Everything Dulcimer website for some further advice (I am sure this Q & A will have come up there).


    Folkcraft certainly make good dulcimers - I have a lovely Folkcraft 6 string in dark walnut - a lovely rich dark tone and very well made.

  5. This well used concertina has just appeared in an auction catalogue:


    Lot 78.


    Apart from the desirability of this instrument the apparent link to The Frostina's may be of interest (although I have to admit I had not heard of them). It is certainly worth following the link for the last image in the description - that of The Frostina handbill/calling card (shown below if I have managed to copy/paste correctly). Something of a linguistic and fashion time piece! Some strength would be required to hold those concertinas in that position for a whole performance! Although, not sure if the younger girl is holding a concertina, if she is perhaps it is a large edeophone(?)


  6. And lot 261, a rosewood ended treble, admitedly with good looking 6 fold bellows, went for £860 (plus buyers commission).


    Strong prices in today's market given that they may all require some work (the baritone's thumb straps had disentigrated hinting that no work had been done for some time). Given that the end screws on all of these boxes were unfouled, they might at least not have suffered any bodgings in the past(?). That said, the aeola looked in very good condition (one of those '81 fret' models?).

  7. Following this with interest...


    ...as someone who usually has the opposite problem to needing loudness - i.e. something a little more gentle and mellow for song accompaniment. Very interested to hear that the Wheatstone Edeophones are loud - I have a Lachenal 56k metal ended Edeophone which has a quite mellow, none too loud sound. I wonder if it is those Wheatstone reeds - I have an Wheatstone ebony raised ends 48kEC (model 6) from the 1920s which can cut through just about anything (walls included!), and I am told those made for the Newcastle dealer Boyd may be capable of even more volume. I wonder if any Maccans were made for this dealer - if so they might offer a solution(?)

  8. In terms of parentage, Jones was my inital thought - possible that the bellow have come from another concertina in the days it was cheaper to break for spares than buy new parts.


    In terms of costs of repairs - unless you have the opportunity to expertly appraise the concertina it is perhaps a question of your appetite for risk. At best this could be an instrument that has been previously restored fairly recently (folk revival period) - so may just need new pads, valves, slight retune and a few tweaks, in which case c.£300 might be a budget. At worst it has been lurking in an attic and will require the preceding work plus a full retune; it may have cracked or warped read pans, have problems with the frames etc the reeds could be badly rusted and the bellows need considerable work - by this stage £600+(potentially big '+') for the work would be looking like a bargain.


    Quite likely it is somewhere in between these two states. The other consideration would be that any repairer is likely to have a waiting list - so any musical gratifaction from the purchase will be delayed!


    I guess a way of approaching this is to consider how much dealers e.g. Theo (The Box PLace) and Chris Algar (Barleycorn concertinas) - would sell such an instrument in a ready to play state, deduct the worst case repairs + your maximum bid and see if the resultant figure is is really an ebay bargain.


    I have had mixed experiences at auction - buying a great Wheatstone EC that was practically ready to play and buying another concertina on Ebay which might fairly be described as a bit of a 'car crash' that once restored proably only saved me 10-15% on buying a ready to play example from a dealer. That said, I do feel a sense of smug satisfaction at having brought a fine instrument back to life.


    Good luck if you decide to bid - its Christmas so fellow concertina purchasers may be under pressure to spend their money elsewhere!

  9. The cloth on my Excelsior is certainly just glued on the inside of the ends. I am not sure that it is original, although it is a slightly faded and stained claret silk. I have toyed with the idea of removing it, but the ends have a number of very fine cracks in them and I think even the most careful and patient removal would risk aggravating/destabilising any existing weaknesses. I think there is a pointer here for anyone contemplating installing such fabric - ensure that gluing is kept to a minimum and the process is fully and easily reversable.

  10. This is really interesting. I too have a Lachenal Excelsior which has no trace of the blocks shown in the photograph. It has, however, at some point had red fabric glued to the ends, possibly to act as a baffle/dust barrier. I suspect it is of similar date (serial 27026 from memory). Might these have been offered with/without baffles. A further consideration is that mine is an extended 56k treble - might the baffles have had a detrimental effect on the higher register?

  11. A particularly fine example in a sale today. Worrying about protecting our concertina's in transit is clearly nothing new.


    Catalogue description reads: A Concertina by `Rock Chidley, 135 High Holburn, London` contained in a fitted rosewood box and with a leather case by `J Jowett, Newark`




  12. Do you think the ends are original to the concertina? They look a little heavy handed, possibly a simplification of floral motifs used on the likes of Jones concertinas e.g. http://www.concertinamuseum.com/CM00334b.htm Having read a number of accounts of people making and repairing concertinas, the cutting of elaborate end frets sounds like a very time consuming activity that would test the patience of a saint.


    This is quite intriguing, any chance of a photo of the inside?

  13. Yes, saw this and thought Hannibal Lecter!


    I have seen a similar replacment end on another duet played by a member of a Liverpool marching band.


    Looks alone might be decpetive, some of the concertina's with simpler Jones and Crabb ends (admittedly in a different league to this example) sound great.


    A conversation piece at the very least!

  14. Very interesting. The concertina player appears seated on a cotton bale, and are those dock yard cranes in the background? Do these have a bearing on the context to the cartoon? Perhaps a view of the wealth of Australia going back to the mother land, or perhaps sa more complex or specific labour dispute...


    All the cartoons seem to target anglo players by association - drawn by EC/duet cartoonists with an unkind streak (surely not)?!

  15. This Wheatstone model 22 is being offered in an upcoming auction.





    It appears to have lettering incorporated into the fretwork on the right hand end under the heel of the player's hand. My own ebony ended model just has the usual reflected floral tendril pattern. Any thoughts?


    I have seen those with SA for Salvation army, heard of those with players initials in custom orders, but can't quite make sense of this beyond a possible 'RH&_ _' or '_ B&H_' (Boosey and Hawkes turning up in the Wheatstone story before their later involvment??).


    The Wheatstone ledgers don't seem to shed light on this, although I may be missing the meaning of an abbreviation.


    Have I been working too hard and started seeing things???!!!! grateful for anyone who can put me out of my misery!

  16. These look equally good for keeping dachshunds and similar small dogs warm - although succumbing to the temptation to pick up such an attired creature to see if it sounds chromatically or differently on the compression/pull might not be such a good idea for either party... ...no definitely not to be encouraged. :-)

  17. Welcome, too!


    You might also want to consider (and try if possible) a decent old instrument with brass reeds, as opposed to steel reeds. These are usually quieter and have a more mellow tone. These also tend to be less expensive than their steel reeded counterparts.


    YOu will no doubt know the following as an accordian player, but just in case: when buying an elderly concertina ensure it is in concert pitch and has 'new' (i.e. not original/old) pads and valves. Buying an elderly box from Ebay (for example) can mean spending as much again getting these and other things (e.g. leaky bellow) sorted out.

  18. There are quite a few resources including the Frank Butler tutor over at http://www.concertina.com/english/ free for down loading.


    As someone who was interested in learning the English concertina for accompanying folks songs I found Roger Watson's 'The first complete tutor for the English Concertina' very helpful - not jam packed with tunes, but it does build your ability in manageable steps from starter to knowing enough to start arranging yourself. In the same folk vein worth knowing that Dick Miles has written 'The Concise English Concertina A tutor' - I would suggest this is more of an intermediate level tutor unless you are very musical and pick things up quickly. Dick has also produced a second volume focused on arrangments to songs which takes things to the next level - both available from http://www.dickmiles.com/


    Once you get started almost any tutor is likely to be of interest - I have just acquired the Salvation Army tutor for English concertina and some of the tunes and arrangments are really engaging and interesting (and sound good too!).


    Also worth looking at you tube to get a better feel for skills such as bellows control etc Elsewhere on this website are highlights other members have identified.

  19. I think Ivan is probably right in terms of total Meccannics, I have seen at least a dozen Maccan players (some very accomplished musicians) amongst the concertina bands of the Liverpool Orange lodges.


    Perhaps the issue is that in the present economic conditions those of us who have a Maccan are sticking with it and resisting the temptation to buy another, and also that duets are not often regarded as an 'entry' level instruments for those coming to the concertina afresh - so there is little 'new blood' coming into the market for their first duet.

  • Create New...