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  1. If this were a post-1930s American-made instrument, I would say yes, that's usually correct as those instruments will have an aluminum action and potentially some other accordion-like construction features. You may find an accordion technician who can successfully work on it, but you will want to make sure that the person working on it actually knows what they are dealing with. I have a 44-button bandonion of similar vintage (See https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Early-bandonion.jpg for photo). I have done work on it (and one 1920s era German instrument) myself and will offer the following: A continuously sounding note may indicate that one of the levers has warped and the pad is no longer aligned with its respective opening. A continuously sounding note might also indicate that one of the springs has weakened with age. They're not hard to fabricate with some piano wire wrapped around a rod. Later instruments have the springs at the "pad end" of the lever so they put pressure directly onto the seal. Also note that if you pull the main hinge pin out on one like yours, the levers will go flying into the air in sequence if you don't restrain them first. The leather disc hinges are fragile, and handling the pads will probably pull some of the hinges apart. They're easy to replace if you have some leather and a hollow punch. I buy my leather from an organ builder, Columbia Organ Works. The hinges on the outer row of buttons (leather sandwiched between wood) are also usually fragile, but also replaceable (though more difficult than the hinges). Removing the reed plates for tuning may end up requiring replacement of the leather gaskets between the reed block and plate. This is tedious work, and the inner partitions of the reed blocks can be very fragile, depending on the construction method. Aside from blowing out with compressed air, the buzzing reeds might be fixed by a slight rotation of the reed tongue about its rivet (use a pair of pliers at the root of the reed; never push the free end side to side). On a little box like this, it may prove difficult to sustain notes for this type of music, though it couldn't hurt to try. I have never heard anyone playing anything like this, but of course nearly all of the players I know personally are older Catholics of East European Descent, in the urban North US, so Sacred Harp/shape note songs are probably about as foreign to them as an Uzbeki Shashmaqam. Incidentally, I find parallel 6ths a more natural harmony on these instruments. That could definitely be fun, and challenging. This instrument was probably built around the time those styles were emerging. I look forward to hearing how it comes along. Thanks--very informative. I've opened the bass side and found that there is one broken reed and a couple of missing valves (you can see the shadow of where they once were) but otherwise I'm not seeing much obvious damage. I've contacted one fellow about repairs and he seems fairly confident that he can do the work as he's serviced a bandondeon of similar vintage. I'm in Maine and he's in Vermont so sending it off to him to get it assessed shouldn't be too bad. The continuously sounding note I think stems from one of the pads being a very tight tolerance (little overlap with the hole) and if the button is wiggled even a little the lever has just enough play to open a gap. A pad that was 1mm wider would cover it. The springs are all intact and still strong.
  2. I was thinking probably some appropriate ragtime and early jazz selections could be fun. Lots of heavy walking and stomping bass line on those old tunes.
  3. With the pads I think there's some leaking around one of them, which is allowing the reed to continuously sound. The valves have definitely "fallen" so I would presume they could probably do with replacement and I figure that if I were to send it to someone to deal with the offending pad I might as well have the rest done as well just to make sure everything "under the hood" is in good working order--after all, shipping a concertina securely isn't exactly the cheapest thing in the world! I would definitely want to preserve the original tuning. I haven't been able to check the tuning at this point in time due to the continuously sounding reed and the handful of reeds that buzz in one or both directions (the inside was pretty dusty so I bet that's the cause of those at least) but it otherwise seems to be in stellar shape other than the hand strap mounts needing some repair. Nothing a little wood filler epoxy and fresh hardware won't fix there, though, and I have some nice leather from a set of busted horse reins that would make perfect new straps for it. Whoever the original owner was clearly played it a good deal (the hand rests are worn almost glassy smooth) but took very good care of the instrument. I've read that accordion repair establishments are usually the best place to service Chemnitzers--is that correct?
  4. Photos. Any idea about who would be best to get in touch with to get this baby cleaned up and back in action? The bellows actually seem rock solid from what I can tell, it just needs the pads/valves serviced and a tuning. Also the attachment points for the hand straps need some fixing but I can probably do that myself.
  5. It landed today. Overall condition seems decent, although it needs some repairs that I think will be minor. On the inside of the bass end is a marking confirming that it's an F. Lange and the reeds are gang mounted on zinc. Will post photos later. Repairing the broken string for the air lever now and seeing if I can figure out which of the treble reeds is continuously sounding.
  6. Yeah I was figuring there might be some sort of marking or label on the interior. The plate itself is at least something of an indicator because it required dedicated tooling to produce the plate so unless the plate was provided by a third party manufacturer and was used by multiple manufacturers then it probably helps in at least narrowing things down. I haven't been able to turn up any images of concertinas with that exact plate other than the one that I linked to, and the styling of the instrument as a whole is identical other than the decoration on the bellows and the presence of edge guards on the folds in addition to the corner ones. I could be wrong, of course, but it would mean that the same name plate and overall build aesthetics of the instrument were copied very closely by a competitor. That's far from impossible, though. Knock-offs have existed for just about everything since practically the beginning of time. I wonder how hard it would be to replace the veneer with something a little more pleasing? Nonetheless if it sounds good I'd play it!
  7. Excellent--thanks! It should be here in the next couple of days, at which point I'll try checking it against a tuner and examining it closer for any marks that the seller may have missed. Very interested in discovering the maker if possible. The "CONCERTINA" nameplate on it looks like this one, which is attributed to Uhlig and I think just has some small cosmetic differences though it's possible that one or the other has seen some servicing over the years.
  8. My thoughts were that it might be an early one due to the 38 button arrangement, which I was under the impression of being a variety of the style. I'm obviously far from an expert, though--do 38 button ones still have four rows on the left hand?
  9. First post here and looking for info. I'm mostly an ocarina player but used to have one of cheapo 20b Anglo Hohners that I liked to noodle around on, but when we moved to a new location someone must have drop-kicked it because in spite of its soft shell case the reeds all got knocked clean off their mountings. I decided to take the opportunity to look for a better one, and while I'll probably still end up getting another nicer Anglo to replace it with I found this piece on eBay and snatched it up. It hasn't landed yet, but it supposedly still plays ok. It's supposedly unmarked but my Google-fu is indicating that it looks most similar to Chemnitzer concertinas by Uhlig and F. Lange. Anyone seen one like this before? I wasn't able to turn up any exact matches in my searches. I'll be interested in seeing how the tuning is when it arrives and if the bellows have any leaks, but from the other photos they had and the description it sounds like it's in pretty decent shape for its age. Thanks for any info you're able to provide!
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