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Stephen Chambers

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Everything posted by Stephen Chambers

  1. If you simply want to date your Anglo, it's most likely to have been made by Lachenal (which a photograph should confirm) and, if it is, we can give you a very good estimate of the year if you provide us with the serial number. But George Butler, and his family, had already left Dublin by 1833 and thereafter made instruments in London - NOT Dublin. Hence their Dublin retail premises being described as a 'Branch Establishment'. I've done some detailed genealogical research on the family.
  2. But there's no reason why a perfectly decent concertina couldn't be made out of all this, even if some of the parts were made 70 years apart. And it just goes to show how consistently-made Lachenal's instruments were...
  3. Ah, I could see there was a 5-digit number there and came to a false conclusion - this is turning out to be even more of a "bitsa" ("bits of this and bits of that") than I first thought! You also have the bellows of Lachenal #59141 of 1923...
  4. Many thanks for the photos, all is now clear to me. So we have the ends of (Louis Lachenal-produced) Wheatstone #3990, which would have been the very-much the same as #3550, C-048 (with ivory buttons and 4-fold bellows) when it was sold on Feb. 11th 1853. And then we have the complete reed pans and bellows of Lachenal & Co. #35906 (made towards the end of 1897) which have been "married" (at some point in time) with those ends to make a viable instrument out of two that were no-longer viable. Also the later "spherical-ended" nickel-silver (not brass) buttons of #35906 have been swapped into the ends of #3990.
  5. Yes, yes, and yes, please do. I cannot possibly give you a definitive answer without seeing photographs of the actual instrument in question. The more you write, the more you obfuscate the matter and the more confused I become (for example, C047 is the work of a different maker for Wheatstone's, not Louis Lachenal), and you don't provide links, whilst a picture tells a thousand words! But I am beginning to wonder if you're perhaps trying to describe an instrument similar to #4247, C-118?
  6. This question goes way beyond simply dating a concertina that's known to be a Lachenal, in fact it's impossible to answer without seeing photographs of this mysterious and contradictory instrument - though it may have been modified/rebuilt in its life...
  7. If it's a Lachenal English, it would date from 1873.
  8. That one would date from the latter part of 1877.
  9. Having bought a concertina on the internet this evening that looks (from the photographs) like it was probably made by him, I realised that I hadn't yet looked for Thomas Henry Shakespeare on the recently available 1921 Census. The family are to be found at 211, Camberwell Road (as expected) with Thomas Shakespeare, age 74, "Tuner" working on his Own Account, his wife Julia Emily Shakespeare, age 50, "Household Duties/Home Work", sons Thos. James Shakespeare, age 19, "Sailor", and William Edward Shakespeare, age 14 years 9 months, "Whole Time - School".
  10. Theodore Kloba was probably the only person here who knew much about these, but he hasn't posted since 2015, and hasn't visited the forum since 2019... 🙁
  11. I was referring to how older concertinas usually have longer reed chambers than later ones, so that the chambers/compartments extend all the way to the doughnut in the middle of the reed-pan, instead of being blocked-off part-way. You should be able to clearly see the difference if you compare the left-hand reed-pans of your, and your pupil's, Lachenals. The easiest (and most commonly done) fix would be to cut pieces of cork about 1/8" thick and the full height of the chamber (including gasket), then trim them to the required width to fit snugly between the chamber walls at the desired point (compared with your pupil's one). If it only happens when you play the index finger C sharp, I can only think of two possibilities - either the pads are rubbing against each-other (but (looking at Cathy's one, made 3 years later, that seems unlikely), or the problem lies with the reed-pan - so is the chamois leather gasket between the two chambers compromised in some way, or is the nearby corner block detached/not holding the reed-pan up adequately there?
  12. And I've mentioned before that my late friend the Irish button accordion player Paddy Hayes used to play the concertina upside-down, because it made more sense to him that way, and did so so-convincingly that even won the title of All-Ireland Concertina Champion one year... https://www.facebook.com/ciarank1/videos/10154559823379125
  13. With that serial number it can only be a Lachenal - nobody else made anything-like that many! It would date from 1898.
  14. It was the "Golden Age" of the Anglo Ken, but you can bet the majority of them would have been cheap 20-key ones with brass reeds...
  15. The Lachenal dating project's estimate for 48556 has remained at 1878 through two revisionary tweaks.
  16. Ah, now that you're talking about volume (I don't recall that being mentioned before) Jim, I think I understand. The real "problem" is that it's an early instrument (from 1878), with solid rosewood (instead of laminated) ends and (much more-significantly) large chambering on the reed-pan - this gives it a warmer tone than later models with smaller chambering, which have a sharper, more-focused, sound with more "cut" to it (neither Cathy nor myself found it "quiet" as such). I'd usually respect the original intention, and design, of the maker - but they themselves changed it in later years, and I could modify this one for you (to be like the later ones) if you like.
  17. It's not just old Lachenals, or even old concertinas that need playing-in Jim, but all musical instruments including brand new ones, and it's very normal. They get better the more they are played. Mind you, as I told you, that particular one was experiencing some shrinkage of the reed-pans in your pupil's hands, so there was an internal loss of compression, but that would fix itself and they'd be tight again after a couple of days in our house - and I did shim the gasket to compensate for that.
  18. Here's the thread about Cecil & Jenny Astley: https://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?/topic/25021-astleys/ And here's the for sale listing: https://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?/topic/25104-three-rare-aeolas-for-sale/#comment-220976
  19. We've discussed them previously
  20. I've got two of them. The idea seems to have been to create a "soundbox" on both ends, replicating the idea of the wooden soundbox that's on the bass side of some German concertinas (which were intended by their makers to be played in the "harmonic" style).
  21. Yes, it's a model No. 62, the top of Wheatstone's range when it was made, about 1938. Not quite as good as earlier versions, but decidedly better than the ones they made after WW2.
  22. That's complicated, Wheatstone's and Lachenal's didn't count it, but Jeffries was a maverick and did... The L/H thumb key on a 30-key Jeffries is always a drone, but on a 39-key, or a 4-row, it's usually F/C for chording.
  23. It would have been made at the beginning of 1905.
  24. No, I expect it was the name of a previous owner.
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