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Everything posted by Milesy

  1. Hi Clive, I have an English, serial no 575, that I am (slowly) restoring which has the same slots cut into the action box. I had never seen that feature before. So far I have been unable to identify a maker - my first thought was Lachenal, but the action is not typical. I'd be interested to see what you find out. incidentally, my English also has a name inscribed: Amelia Tidd. 1875.
  2. My estimate would be early 1880s......but I guess you know how difficult it is to date a Lachenal!
  3. You might try A C Norman & Co. Paddock, Shrewsbury SY5 9EL, United Kingdom. If he can't help he will have better local knowledge than I (I've been in Australia for 30 years so my UK contacts are rather thin on the ground!)..
  4. Hi Dan It's an "English" (keyboard layout) and from your photos it appears to be in original condition. The Serial number indicates it was made in 1850/51. Value depends on many variables. Where are you based? There will undoubtedly be a knowledgeable member somewhere near you who will be able to tell you more if they see it "in the flesh".
  5. I had an instrument with identical metal binding many years ago. I was told that it was from Germany. The use of Nr. for the "serial number" also suggests German manufacture.
  6. The trade mark will be on the wooden hand rests under the straps. Valuing an instrument depends on many factors and is best done by getting an expert to inspect and test the instrument. If you let us know where (country/city) you are, someone will be able to suggest where to take it that is local to you.
  7. Are you reading the serial number only from the end label? It may have a 1 in front of it that isn't easily visible, but would make approximately 30 years difference. Have you looked at the serial numbers inside? Establishing the age of Lachenals is a bit problematic but from example where the date of manufacture is known, some estimate is possible. I believe an 86*** number would be mid - late 1880s while a 186*** would be approximately 1913. Does the instrument have the Lachenal trade mark stamped on it?
  8. Some might say that all of us in Australia play upside down!!!
  9. I would have anticipated a higher value. Maybe the auction being restricted to UK bidders only has pushed the price down?
  10. I have been looking for press knives for valves for some time. Lucris weren't able to help. I have purchased some punches (pre-formed sets) from Ebay - some of the shapes match some valves but most of the larger knives are too big. I am going to try re-shaping in the workshop, though I don't hold out much hope of getting an acceptable shape and retain the cutting edge. The image shows a couple of the punches that work (15mm & 19mm). The larger one illustrates the problem. The upper valve was cut with this punch and is compared with a "shop bought" valve. If anyone does find a maker who can make sets, I would be glad to find out.
  11. Keep emails brief and to the point (advice from Mark to me). He gets lots and doesn't get to them if he is busy building bellows etc. I, too, phone him (from Australia) as a follow up.
  12. Hi All I have just received a Lachenal #50133 for some TLC. Inside on each action board is a pencil "scrawl" that may be repairers or owners initials. Does anyone recognise it (you might need to rotate the photo). The instrument has had new pads and valves somewhere along the line. Any information gratefully accepted - I would like to add more to it's story for the owner.
  13. Bought an EC from the UK a few years ago with the same smelly problem. The cigarette/pipe tobacco smell only lingered for a few weeks once the instrument was out of it's case..........unless my nose became insensitive to it! Let it breathe some clean air for a while.
  14. You will need to figure out what glue was used originally (or most recently if any restoration has been done before). Some glues will not stick to surfaces with traces of dried glue. Hide glue was used when the instrument was first built and that will attach to older versions of itself. Before you have to take apart the entire frames, make sure to mark the corresponding corners so you can re-assemble correctly.
  15. I have a Lachenal Anglo dating to about 1860 which has original red leather baffles of the "horseshoe" shape described by David. I haven't opened it up recently, but I am pretty sure the shaping avoids the leather passing over the support posts, so does not create the "gap" issue. The red net is an attempt to prevent carpet moth laying their eggs on the tasty (for them) woollen felt in the pads. I would imagine that any fabric fine enough to stop dust would reduce airflow significantly.
  16. I suspect that the leather used to make the bellows is vegetable tanned, which has a brown colour. Some leather dyeing processes (after tanning) only colour the surface layer and with wear, the colour can wear through, revealing the "natural" leather colour beneath. I would not recommend boot polish - it is a surface wax which will soon transfer from the bellows to you!!! There are leather dyes available, but the surface needs to be cleaned to remove any oils and waxes before applying the dye - and the colour may not match perfectly with the original. If there are no holes or splits in the leather, it might be best to leave well alone and accept it as the patina of age and use.
  17. Interesting thought Paul. There is an earlier form of the lower case n in early Latin Italic script which was effectively a reverse of the capital letter, and earlier written or carved scripts have a similar "letter". Whether it was still in use in the 1800s is debateable. When teaching primary school kids to write, I often saw various letters written in reverse, so maybe it is more likely a mistake when the letter stamp was being made (and by the Canadian soldier). A faulty letter punch might have been used once or twice then discarded when the error was spotted, resulting in just a few examples of the reversal.
  18. Trying to perfect "Devon Bellringing song" on Wheatstone baritone after listening to the lateTony Rose album "Exe". Repairs to a 30 key Lachenal anglo and Amelia (my unknown maker EC) on hold as I wait for parts from the UK.
  19. Could this be your man? https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/an-irishman-s-diary-1.377416
  20. Intrigued by the posts, I did a bit of searching and found this: https://www.horikin.co.jp/english/powder/85#:~:text=Metal Powder-,Gold powder and other types of powder,called « Kindei » Gold Powder. Could this be what you have?
  21. In case anyone else in Aus is looking, this link gives some contacts. http://jam.org.au/moxie/folkmart/9_3/concertina-services.shtml
  22. I agree with Don - every player should have a copy of David's book. Basic care & maintenance is not challenging for anyone with basic competence in "tinkering". There are a few things to remember, but David's book covers the lot. Happy to share a few tips if you'd like to email me: richard.miles@westnet.com.au .
  23. Thanks for all the thoughts from members. I have been studying the instruments at the Horniman (online) and I am aware that the slotted pillar/brass wire action was used by Scates, Nickolds and Austin, but the point I get to is: Scates used this action in #451 but typically stamps serial numbers on action box frames. No serial numbers on Amelia action box frames. Also the Scates instruments at the Horniman appear to be of higher quality. Nickolds used the action, but used open sided cross pieces on the reed frames. Cross pieces in Amelia are closed end. Austin used the action, but initialled action boards with JA. He also used open sided reed frame cross pieces like Nickolds. Jabez Austin started “on his own account in 1850”. He died in 1857 reportedly due to his “love of beer”. Serial number 575 would imply at least 82 instruments made each year (assuming 575 was the last made and he used consecutive numbering). The buttons are also a little unusual. I have run a micrometer over a selection from Amelia and one from a Lachenal. Dimensions: Lachenal: Shaft: 4.7mm (0.184”) Pin: 2mm Amelia: Shaft: 4.7mm (0.184”) Pin: 1.55mm The taper of the buttons from just above the lever aperture can be seen in the photos. A design fault - the taper + the unusually thin pin has resulted in 12 buttons snapping! I guess, at best, I will end up deciding that the instrument is most likely by …….. but I hope members might spot something that points to the right maker.
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