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Stephen Chambers

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Everything posted by Stephen Chambers

  1. " "Cross-border VAT e-commerce is being modernised in the EU. We are making life simpler and fairer for all. The new rules will come into force on 1 July 2021" https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/vat/vat-e-commerce_en#heading_2
  2. Yes, Lachenal's Art Deco pattern from their last few years, usually to be found on instruments with Casein plastic buttons, plywood ends and 6XXXX serial numbers. Probably the original bellows (or just the bellows papers) of 32801 got replaced in that era?
  3. Lachenal's were probably sending them to South Africa until they closed down in 1933 (and were taken over by Wheatstone's), thereafter there was only Crabb's and Wheatstone's (on a much bigger scale) to supply the market. The extended bellows were replacements that were made later in South Africa, the concertinas would have left their makers, in England, with only 5-, or 6-fold, bellows.
  4. A rare treat, on Facebook, the late Andrew Blakeney-Edwards playing Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" on his four-row, 51-key, Jeffries Anglo. https://www.facebook.com/222125851133214/videos/166924951820773
  5. I wonder if the lead digit might be a poorly stamped 2 that has been misread as a 5? Though (according to Dowright's calculations) 27473 would suggest a date of c.1887
  6. Hmmm, so now we seem to have two anomalous Maccann duet serial numbers that look like they might belong to the English system number sequence: 57473 (circa 1919) on a supposedly 1883 "Prototype" instrument and 43438 (circa 1905) on an instrument in the Wayne Collection at the Horniman Museum... However, the catalogue description of the latter contains a further anomaly in that it states that the instrument has a "Circular reed pan label: 'Lachenal & Co, 8 Lit James St, Grays Inn Road, WC, London'. Serial number: 43438." - and such reed pan labels are only found in English system concertinas... So could we perhaps be looking at a duet that has been cobbled together with the reed pans of an English inside it? 😲
  7. No, Paddy couldn't play it the "right way up" - he only borrowed (fellow button accordion player) Raymond Roland's one to try out, and it made more sense to him "upside-down". He always played it that way, and wasn't the sort to "show off".
  8. That's nothing! 😉 My old friend Paddy Hayes borrowed Raymond Roland's Wheatstone Anglo but (being a button box player) found it handier to play it upside down, so he could use his right hand on the low notes. He went in for a competition, and won it, finishing up qualifying for the All-Ireland Fleadh - and won that too!!! Here he is on a Jeffries, playing with "The Godfather" Brian Rooney on fiddle:
  9. Intriguing indeed! The Provisional Specification for Maccann's Patent, dated 11th March, 1884, states "They are made in either shape hexagonal or square with 39 to 58 keys." Whilst the Patent drawing shows a hexagonal instrument with the same button layout as this one, including the two offset buttons (one each side) which are given no note values - so quite likely they were for a whistle and squeaker on both. But the claimed serial number makes no sense for 1883 - perhaps there has been a misreading?
  10. Frankly, we've no way of knowing what Bastari were doing at any given time, but they seem to have frequently altered their designs, whether to try and make "improvements" or just to make their instruments less costly to manufacture. But you've reminded me of another (earlier?) "Wizard by Bastari" that I got going again last year for a friend. It's a 20-key one this time, and I don't know where it was sold originally (the only "provenance" is that it was found at a rubbish dump in County Clare!), and the lever mechanism is a more-complicated and (probably) earlier form again:
  11. Whoops, that'll teach me to post in a hurry (we were just about to go out at the time), without looking hard enough at my source (which suggested it was for Ab/Eb, and I took it at face value) - though I never saw such a thing as a Jones Salvation Army 26-key in anything but Ab/Eb. The Salvation Army tutor book that I'm familiar with is H. H. Booth's 1888 Instructions for the Salvation Army Concertina (which I discovered on a research trip to the Bodleian Library, Oxford) that is basiclly a chord book for a 26-key Jones in Ab/Eb. But I guess the 1905 C/G diagram may have come as as big a surprise to existing Salvationist Anglo players as it was to me... What I should have quoted was this then, from member lachenal74693: 11 12 13 11 12 13 A/B F/E♭ E/F# A/B F/E♭ E/F# Left Hand Accidentals Right Hand 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 A♭/E♭ E♭/G A♭/B♭ C/C# E♭/F A♭/G C/B♭ E♭/C# A♭/F C/G Left Hand A♭-Row Right Hand 6 7 8 9 10 6 7 8 9 10 E♭/B♭ B♭/D E♭/F G/A♭ B♭/C E♭/D G/F B♭/A♭ E♭/C G/D Left Hand E♭-Row Right Hand That accidental fingering, as I've pointed out previously, is the same as Jeffries used - though it seems to have originated with Jones.
  12. This is the official Salvation Army 26-key layout, from their 1905 tutor book, so drop everything down by a semitone for G/D:
  13. I went through a lot of the same thought processes myself 35 years ago, when I started tuning to Meantone after buying a copy of Charles A. Padgham's (then newly published) book The Well-Tempered Organ. But my conclusion (very much confirmed by examination of Jeffries' Anglos in unaltered original tuning) was that they were transposing instruments, and that (for example) if you wanted to play in flat keys you should get a Bb/F or Ab/Eb instrument that was intended for the job, and not expect those instruments to be perfectly in tune with (say) a "concert pitch" (Irish useage) C/G one. So I set the "relative A" of an Anglo to zero, and temper everything else around it in the same way, as did Jeffries. You'll have heard my work if you listen to Irish players much.
  14. I'm confused, and maybe others are too - what "corner fabric parts" do you mean? The accordion bellows tape that runs all around the bellows? Or the white bellows gussets, that should be made of leather, but have sometimes been made out of impregnated cloth? A picture could be worth a thousand words... The soundboard/action board, with the reeds on the back of it, should be attached to the ends of the instrument, not to the bellows frame, and it should lift off easily. The simplest answer, if you have easy access to one, might be to buy another Scholer of the same model and use it for spare parts.
  15. Oh well, it was worth checking if there was a smudged name stamp there - it was unlikely, but by no means impossible. Before German concertina production shifted from the (expensive) industrial city of Chemnitz, where it was invented, to the (inexpensive) Vogtland region (especially Klingenthal), the only maker's marks you'll find were their pencilled signatures (sometimes) inside the ends. However, the pencil markings inside your great-grandmother's concertina are only the batch number 57 and D for Descant, and it'll be B for Bass in the other end.
  16. Am I seeing things, or does it have a name stamped underneath the end? It's very difficult to make out, but might it read F. A. Rauner? (They were the biggest factory at Klingenthal.)
  17. The reedpan is evidently from a typical 2-row French accordion, something similar to the one in this YouTube video:
  18. Well now we know - it was a French accordion/flutina! (I'd have bet on it, for 1845 - they were the most popular accordions up until the 1870s.) Here's its maple reedpan, with slotted-in individual reedplates, having just been recovered from the galley on board and being put into a plastic bag: You can witness the recovery here, on YouTube, between 2.43 and 2.52:
  19. In the old days it used to be sometimes done the opposite way - Jim Harvey, Secretary of the International Concertina Association in the 1970s, told me how he'd got his 4-row Jeffries Anglo converted into a duet by Jeffries themselves.
  20. Described as "A C Jeffries Bros. 51 key concertina, the hexagonal body with foliate pierced metal ends and six fold bellows, one end engraved 'C Jeffries Bros., Maker, 23 Praed St, London N' and stamped under the handle 'C.J. New address, 12 Aldershot Rd, Kilburn, N.W., London', the other end stamped 'L Thomas, Nov 10, 1921' " - it's a Jeffries Brothers instrument that was sold from his house in Kilburn by Charles Jeffries jnr. It seems to be in very original condition, right down to the handstraps, but (unfortunately) it looks like insects have eaten their way through the bellows (which may yet be repairable), and "the reeds are severely rusted – there are only a few notes left that play ... The concertina sounds as if it plays the same note when pushed and pulled, but the holes in the bellows make it very difficult to have a consistent air flow." A bit of a "pig in a poke" really...
  21. I have the Patent, which I'm quoting from, and I've seen and handled the instrument - in fact I went to a Sotheby's auction to try to buy the remains of it, which Neil Wayne had put up for sale in 1989 along with a bunch of other Concertina Museum items that had come from from the Wheatstone Laboratory, only to be thwarted in my attempt by King's College stopping the sale with a very last minute court injunction - it seems they'd suddenly woken up to their Wheatstone heritage/inheritance, over the previous weekend, after dispersing so much of it previously! It is described in the Patent in these terms: "The following is our method of forming a musical instrument similar to the violin, excepting that the strings are sounded by wind instead of a bow. The shape and size of the instrument represented at Figure 32 are the same as those of the violin. The four strings occupy their usual situations on its front or belly, and are fastened in the usual manner to the tailpiece at one end, and to the tuning pegs at the other. Each string is furnished with its aperture, to which it is adjusted in the manner represented at Figure 1, so that it will sound only when the wind passes from without into the instrument. The length of the aperture we prefer is about an inch and a half, and it should not extend towards the top or head of the instrument farther than the middle of the string. ... To this instrument is attached a double bellows, one part being placed at each side of the instrument, as represented in Figure 32." Figure 32: I can assure you there were never any reeds, and there were never any buttons on the fingerboard of the violin. What you saw was a mélophone, patented by Pierre Charles Leclerc in Paris, in 1837, and I have one of them!
  22. Firstly, I wouldn't consider it such a "very very early model" - I'd reserve those sort of terms for instruments similar to the one in my avatar, which has for at least a century-and-a-half been reputed (in print) to be the first concertina, and for which (in 1988) I set a then record price. The one on eBay was what Wheatstone's described as a "Plain" model, the cheapest version of the (already much-more-developed) instrument that they made in the 1840s. I wasn't interested in it because I've long had one in much better condition, with its original case, and with interesting provenance. But, in general, the concertinas that are most sought after are the best models for playing, rather than historical ones, and they are much later in date than the likes of this (beginner-level) instrument.
  23. By the time of the Greely expedition, in 1881, both concertinas and accordions were much more freely, and cheaply, available than they had been in 1845 (when concertinas would have been more the preserve of the officer class).
  24. It's been mentioned before, and I'd be fascinated to learn more about it, but I've never been able to find out anything more, nor a photo, of this "accordion"/"bits of accordion" (or whatever it is) that was reportedly found aboard the wreck H.M.S. Erebus.
  25. The hand strap should be fastened across the straight part of the semi-circular "sounding board & hand rest" - which acts as both a soundbox and a handle/hand rail.
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