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david robertson

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Everything posted by david robertson

  1. The glass rod is set into a brass ferrule, and the combination is much sturdier than Wheatstone's wooden-cored buttons. As for the weight, Robert, I suppose they may be marginally heavier than the usual Edeophone hollow metal buttons. Out of idle curiosity, I weighed a bunch of metal ones, which come in at 1.36g each, or 76.2g for a set of 56. If we assume the glass buttons are 10% heavier, the difference is less than the weight of an English pound coin! The whole instrument, by the way, enters the ring at 1.27kg. For comparison purposes, my Jeffries, with 17 fewer buttons, weighs in at just over 1.5kg. No wonder I feel tired all the time!
  2. A beautiful example of an extended treble Edeophone - Mr Lachenal's top model, with the rare riveted action and the even rarer glass buttons. It also comes with its original leather case in serviceable condition. I'm selling it on behalf of a regular customer... a man with an eye for a bargain! When he bought it about 40% of the fretwork on both ends was missing. But behind that damaged facade lurked a lovely, unmolested instrument, and now, with all fretwork restored, plus new pads, valves and bushes, and re-tuning to modern concert pitch, it's a little cracker! Remarkably rapid and responsive, with a lovely wooden-ended tone, it's a joy to play. Price: £2300
  3. This is a bit of a long shot, but I wonder if anyone out there in the concertina community knows Richard Bird and/or his wife Chris? He plays a 45k Jeffries, which is currently sitting on my shelf, with restoration almost complete. Here's the problem: I stupidly omitted to take his phone number, and I'm getting no reply to copious emails. So if anyone has his contact details, I'd be very grateful if you'd share them with me, or give him a nudge to contact me.
  4. Many thanks for that, Paul. It's obvious from the reedpan layout that there wouldn't be room for another chamber. Still, I'd have thought the path of least resistance might have been simply to leave out the thumb button completely!
  5. On my bench at the moment is a 46k Jeffries Anglo. While mapping the layout, I noticed that on the left hand, the 4th button on the innermost row and the single outlier button both play F4/C4. And when I opened it up, I discovered why: both buttons operate on the same pair of reeds! This is not an arrangement I've come across before, and I'm having trouble imagining a reason for it. Any ideas?
  6. Hammer price £2200 - that's about £2750 with buyer's premium (don't get me started!) It's a beautiful instrument, but isn't that a bit lofty for an unrestored Jeffries Duet?
  7. Both instruments are now sold, one via my own website and one via concertina.net (donation made).
  8. A regular customer of mine is about to emigrate to Australia, so he has asked me to help him find a good home for two superb Jeffries. The first is a 30-key (bone buttons) in C/G, restored by me about 3 years ago, with new pads, valves, bushes and straps. The woodwork was stripped and refinished in French polish, and I made and fitted new 7-fold bellows, which are now beautifully played-in. This is a cracking player - rapid, responsive, well-balanced and incredibly loud, with that unique Jeffries sound. The second is a 38-key (metal buttons) in the rare keys of Ab/Eb. This one was restored by Colin Dipper about 4 years ago, with new 7-fold bellows by Rosalie. It could be a long, long time before you find another Jeffries in these lovely growly keys, let alone one in such exceptional condition. The seller is looking for £4900 for the 30k, and £5400 for the 38k. I should add that both instruments come in an expensive (and virtually bomb-proof) Peli Storm hard case. You'll find details and pictures of both concertinas on my website, and as always, if you're within striking distance of Norwich, you're more than welcome to come and have a squeeze.
  9. Yes, still in Norwich and plying for hire. And thanks largely to Brexit, the waiting list isn't what it used to be! You can find out more about me and what I do at concertina-restoration.co.uk. And if you'd like to talk about your instrument, feel free to call me on 01603 702644 or 07840 838899.
  10. Whatever the truth of its history, its appeal to the beetles makes it rather less appealing to me. Big flight-holes too! Reminds me of one I once bought from Peru, whose frames consisted of veneer on the outside, a wafer-thin sliver of timber on the inside, and nothing much in between. One particularly industrious grub had chewed an impressively straight line through every fold of the bellows. If anyone else is brave enough to take this one on, it's in Gorringes sale in Lewes on the 18th of this month.
  11. OK, we have a serial number stamped in the reed pan, and inked on the back of the action box... looks like 2013 (or possibly 6). It has a pair of squeakers fitted close to the centre of the left-hand reed pan, so I guess it may also have a whistle on the other end. It also has significant damage by wood-boring insects, which makes me wonder if it started life as a wooden-ended instrument, converted to metal ends when the fretwork began to wriggle under the player's hands?
  12. The plot thickens! The auctioneer describes the pivots as looking like the staples he uses for attaching wire to fence-posts! Did Lachenal ever use staples rather than slotted plates? Tomorrow he's going to bring a screwdriver to work, and we'll play hunt the serial number!
  13. Thank you all for your suggestions. I do realise that a serial number and a view of the internals would be helpful, but the instrument currently resides with an auction house in Lewes. I'll call them and see if they'll send me some more pictures.
  14. True, the edges are suspiciously un-stepped, but it's far from being a home-made horror. I'd be a happy man if I could muster this kind of skill and fluency with a scrollsaw!
  15. Leaving aside the engraving round the edges, which I guess could have been added at any time, would anyone care to hazard a guess at the maker of this concertina? It's a 36-button Anglo, with Lachenal-style green white and gold papers, and gold-tooled bellows ends... but I don't recognise the fretwork as Lachenal. It has some distinctive little features (circled) that I'm sure I've seen somewhere before, but I'm damned if I remember where!
  16. Sorry Julia - this one has now found a new home in Ireland.
  17. I had a 48k Lachenal with H Boyd fretwork a couple of years ago...
  18. They do now show the RH end, and there's no 'H Boyd' in the fretwork. Does this indicate that it was sold by Boyd, but not made for them?
  19. Call me a self-destructive fool, but I've reduced my asking price for this one by £100. It's a cracking example of an earlyish 34k Lachenal - the sort with solid rosewood ends and wide, comfortable buttons. I've made and fitted new 7-fold bellows, and reamed and bushed the button-holes to keep it quiet and smooth. In addition, it has new pads, valves, bushes and straps, and all the woodwork has been rubbed down and refinished in French polish. It is, of course, tuned to modern concert pitch. It looks good, and plays wonderfully - fast, bright and loud. In fact, I defy you to find a better example. Finally, it also comes with a note of provenance, and the RAF Navigator's wing badge from a previous owner who was sadly killed in action during WWII As always, if you're within striking distance of Norwich, you're welcome to come and have a squeeze. If not, get in touch anyway, and we can probably arrange a trial without obligation. NOW ONLY £1750
  20. I really can't imagine what inspired Mr Lachenal to add a whistle and a duck-call to his perfectly good 32-key instruments, but this is one of those. I suppose it keeps small children amused... Anyway, it's quite easy to ignore those two buttons, since they are located at the dusty end of the G row on either hand. Apart from the novelty keys, this is a cracker of an Anglo... one of those with ends cut from beautifully-figured solid rosewood rather than veneer. The buttons on these were normally un-bushed, but I have reamed and bushed the buttonholes to keep the action quiet and smooth. I have also made and fitted new 7-fold bellows. The downside is that the extra fold means it will no longer fit in its original case - but it probably deserves something better anyway. As usual, I have replaced all pads, valves , bushes and straps, stripped and French polished the woodwork, and tuned it to modern concert pitch. In short, it's a lovely example of the breed - loud, agile, and a pleasure to play. One more thing: it comes complete with an RAF Navigator's wing badge from the uniform of Charles Freebairn, a previous owner who was killed in action. The vendor thought it should stay with the instrument, and I agree. I'm asking £1850 for this one, and as always, if you're within striking distance of Norwich, you're welcome to come and give it a squeeze.
  21. Hi Geoff, Using Bob Tedrow's method, I make bellows of any size using cylindrical jigs - most recently, a big baritone set for Theo Gibb. Geometry being what it is, you don't actually need a jig with 6 or 8 sides... just a tube of the appropriate size. This, of course, applies only to bellows of symmetrical shape. For asymmetric bellows, a custom-made jig would be indispensable, and frankly, it's not worth making one when it would probably never be used again!
  22. Comprehensively restored, with new 7-fold gold-tooled bellows, this is as nice a 38k Jeffries as you could hope to find. As always, the restoration work includes new pads, valves, bushes and straps. The woodwork has been stripped and refinished in French polish, and the instrument has been tuned to modern concert pitch (A=440Hz). It's not unusual to find a fairly eccentric keyboard layout with Jeffries instruments, but I have ironed out most of the eccentricities in this one, and restored it to a more typical layout (though one or two oddities remain!) You'll find a full diagram of the layout among the pictures below. Under normal circumstances, I would invite you to come and have a squeeze in Norwich. But since that's clearly not an option at present, let me know if you're interested, and let's see if we can arrange a no-obligation trial. I'm asking £4250.
  23. Of course... I really must resist the temptation to post messages before I'm fully awake!
  24. Bear in mind that English thumbstraps are composite devices, made up of a sandwich of canvas, chamois or felt, and thin leather, all enclosing the L-shaped steel or brass former.
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