Jump to content

Stephen Chambers

  • Posts

  • Joined

Everything posted by Stephen Chambers

  1. Chris, It is certainly most unusual, but it is not the only one. I have seen another example (which I thought was unique !) in Ireland recently. Being a one-piece casting, it is much stronger than the usual style of metal "rail" (the traditional name for the "hand rest"), which is in three pieces, soldered together. Having repaired a lot of Jeffries' with metal rails, over the years, I came to dread them ! The rail assemblies are often coming apart or, even worse, badly repaired on a previous occasion, the screw threads are almost always gone, and there is always a major build-up of verdigris (something Fred Kilroy considered deadly, and was very careful to clean off his concertinas - it is poisonous) with all that contact between leather & metal. I have sometimes been forced to replace them with wooden rails, but it certainly had the advantage of making it much easier to change the size of the straps. As Alan comments, these fancy, cast, metal rails don't seem very comfortable (in fact they remind me more of fancy metal drawer handles). Cheers !
  2. red, You should indeed, I have several photographs of charabanc outings (both horse-drawn and motorised) with concertina, or melodeon, players.
  3. Paul, It does have a traditional name, from the 19th century makers, which is "disc" (though I have also heard it corrupted to "desk"). It may not seem to make much sense when applied to an anglo, but if you look at it in its original (circular) form, in an English, it makes perfect sense.
  4. And that's only the Bantamweight Edition ! The 20 volume, Heavyweight version, of the O.E.D. (you'll have to get that one now Jim !), 2nd Edition, 1989, gives : "Hence concertinist, a player on the concertina. 1880 Daily Tel. 7 Sept. The concertinist is ... the best masthead man of the fleet."
  5. How about "Cricket Club" ? It may sound a strange suggestion to you, but I have seen several, late-Victorian, photographs of cricket outings that included a concertina player (indeed I own at least one such photograph). For that matter, the services of either a concertina, or melodeon, player seem to have been required for almost any outing at the time (judging by photographs I have seen). The renowned Sussex concertina player, Scan Tester, had two great passions in his life, his cricket and his "music" (his concertina).
  6. The "push-me-pull-you" (I've decided it reminds me of Dr. Doolittle's double-ended llama) arrived a few days ago and, except for the tuning, it is very much as I predicted. However, a problem arises when trying to establish the key of an old German instrument in England : Was it made, for export, in English pitch (around half a semitone sharp) or in German pitch (around half a semitone flat) ? It is often a problem with old German simple-system flutes, which are often in C#, rather than D (six-finger note). As the sharp-pitch (English) keys, of E/B & F#/C#, don't seem to make much sense, I think it must have been made at flat (German) pitch in F/C & G/D.
  7. Hi Paul, Yes, I didn't bother to state it because Jim Lucas had already done so, in his post of February 8. I wish I did ! Prewar Wheatstone anglo price lists seem to be extremely rare, the one in question is the only one I have ever seen. (Then again, prewar Wheatstone anglos are pretty rare too ...) The prices, and models, changed very little in the period we are talking about (they didn't have the kind of inflation we now take for granted), but cheaper construction/materials started to be used from about 1936 onwards. My only other catalogues, listing Wheatstone anglos, are from the 1950's/'60's, by which time the model numbers were completely different : No. 1A. POPULAR MODEL, 20 keys. Mahogany finish, non-corrosive erinoid keys, five-fold bellows, steel reeds, including case. No. 2A. 30 keys, specification as above. No. 3A. BEST QUALITY, 20 keys, Rosewood or Ebony finish, nickel-silver capped keys, six-fold bellows, steel reeds, in leatherette case. No. 4A. 30 keys, specification as Model 3A. No. 5A. 36 keys, specification as Model 3A. No. 6A. 40 keys, specification as Model 3A. No. 7A. PROFESSIONAL MODEL, finest quality new octagonal "AEOLA" model, Ebony finish, nickel-silver capped keys, eight-fold bellows, steel reeds, in leather case. All models can be supplied with metal ends - chrome plated on nickel-silver - at extra cost. A duplicated Price List from May, 1959, reveals the following prices : 1A ...... £21. 3. 6 2A ...... £30.16. 0 3A ...... £30.16. 0 4A ...... £40.18. 1 5A ...... £47. 6. 9 6A ...... £54. 5. 0 7A ...... £75.17. 3 Whilst a later catalogue, from the Boosey & Hawkes factory, lists only models 3A., 4A., 6A. and 7A.
  8. You will probably consider this to be cheating but, when I went to the Greenwich International Festival of Early Music last year, I was shown a prototype anglo concertina kit ! It was being exhibited by the Renaissance Workshop Company Ltd. (must be a copy of the one Oliver Cromwell played ?), of Bradford, and made for them by Andrew Norman, but it doesn't seem to have gone into production ? (At least, there is no sign of it on their website : www.renwks.com) Interesting idea though ...
  9. Well, if it was good enough for Giulio Regondi, and the other 19th century virtuosi ... (Not forgetting the Oxford English Dictionary.)
  10. Hi Richard, I've been looking at these ledgers for years, so I can tell you that the 88, in the column beside the serial number, is the batch number (for factory purposes, marked on the component parts during construction). The model number is the 61 beside the date, and if you look at the price list I posted, you will see that No. 61. is indeed a 36 Key in "Ebony, finest finish". Cheers,
  11. It wasn't? Oh. Chris Surely the Roundheads would have preferred edeophones, seeing as they're closest to being circular... I thought the whole thing (the English Civil War) was about the Cavaliers playing Englishes, and the Roundheads anglos ? Sure, wasn't it Cromwell who introduced the anglo into Ireland ! (Or maybe not ...)
  12. Chris, If John Connor is still making bellows the traditional way, which he learnt at Crabb's, then they are only stuck together with flour and water glue (paste). I really wouldn't recommend going near them with any liquid preparation, or the joins might start to seperate.
  13. And I'd like a bass no. 59, thank you. Now don't forget that metal ends are £1,,10s EXTRA on those models ... But seriously, the £1,,5s metal ends (of a No. 55. etc.) would have been the less-expensive kind, like Richard's, that extend to the instruments edge. The £1,,10s ones (of a No. 59. etc.) were inset, with an ebony border, like his teacher's (the fretwork would also have been finer).
  14. In that case, you might find the following useful, it is a list of Model Numbers, and their descriptions, from a (circa 1934) "Price List of Superior New Model Chromatic Anglo Concertinas, Manufactured by C. Wheatstone & Co." : MAHOGANY - Screwed notes, steel reeds, 5-fold bellows, including case. No. 51.-20 Keys ... ... ... ... £4 11 6 No. 52.-26 Keys ... ... ... ... £4 19 6 No. 53.-30 Keys ... ... ... ... £5 7 6 ROSEWOOD - Quality and finish as No. 55. No. 55A.-20 Keys ... ... ... ... £6 0 0 No. 55B.-26 Keys ... ... ... ... £7 10 0 No. 55.-30 Keys. Superior quality. Rosewood, best French polish, round top nickel-silver keys, bushed throughout, dark morocco six-fold bellows, screwed notes, best tempered steel reeds, Square case £8 10 0 No. 56.-32 Keys. Ditto Ditto £9 0 0 No. 57.-36 Keys. Ditto Ditto £10 5 0 No. 58.-40 Keys. Ditto Ditto £11 10 0 Nickel-plated Tops [Ends] to Nos. 55, 56, 57 & 58, £1 5s. extra. No. 59.-30 Keys. EBONY, finest finish, solid dark morocco six-fold bellows, spherical end silver keys, bushed throughout, screwed notes, extra superior steel reeds, improved action, giving rapid articulation. Square case. £10 10 0 No. 60.-32 Keys. Ditto Ditto £11 5 0 No. 61.-36 Keys. Ditto Ditto £12 10 0 No. 62.-40 Keys. Ditto Ditto £13 15 0 Nickel-plated Tops to Nos. 59, 60, 61 & 62, £1 10s. extra. TENORS, BARITONES and BASSES Made to Order in No. 59 quality only.
  15. Chris, It hasn't arrived here yet, but I expect it will be of 100% normal German construction, with wooden levers, glued-on buttons and ten reeds per plate. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it is in C/G one end, and Bb/F the other, but time will tell ... Cheers,
  16. I cannot vouch for this, as I haven't seen the episode, but the player could very well be Peter Honri, the grandson of Percy Honri, the great Music-Hall showman & renowned Maccann duettist. Peter played the role of Private Day in the "Dad's Army" series, and he too could play the duet. He also wrote the book "Working the Halls", which is mainly about his grandfather. I have met Peter a couple of times, on the first occasion (in 1986, at the Croydon Warehouse Theatre) he put on a one-man show, also called "Working the Halls"; the songs & the story of a Music-Hall family, in which he portrayed Percy. The second time was at an auction when he sold some family memorabilia, including one of Percy's concertinas and aunt Mary's piano accordion (it looked like the same one she is seen playing in the Pathe newsreel clips, one of which features her with her father, Percy). I finished up with some original Percy Honri posters and a suitcase-full of photos that day.
  17. As I was trying to say, ... Historically this is a highly significant instrument, because of its fretwork, even if the mechanism seems to have been only an experimental one, which was not developed. These features all appear in William Wheatstone's patent, no. 2289, of 14th September 1861. Wooden levers were also employed by Wheatstone's on two, of the four known, open-pallet model concertinas, an unnumbered example (with ivory pallets) in my own collection, and number XXXII (with pearl pallets) mentioned above. However, the other two surviving examples (Captain Gardnor's, and the one recently purchased by the Met'.) have saddle-mounted nickel levers.
  18. I've never been happy with the "Private Collection" formulation in the title Bob, which seems terribly possessive and proprietorial in English, but it seems to be a German concept and was forced on me by my German editor. It seems that in German: A private collection is a collection of cultural objects built not from public funds, but with private funds. The term often refers to works of art and refers to the counterpart to the collection of a state art museum. Private collections play an important role in many areas: private individuals collect paintings, products of the art industry / design objects, carpets, stamps, coins, books, manuscripts and handwriting fragments, toys, motor vehicles, technical devices and many other objects. Large state-owned museums, mostly founded in the 19th century, owe their important collections to private collections, which were given or bought as gifts.
  19. Got it ! The latest addition to the collection :
  20. Goran, who made you my Academic Referee ? (I already have a real and extremely well-qualified one thank you, in the shape of a City University of New York Professor of Music and researcher, who is also a concertina player!) You seem to be making a case that you are an expert in concertina history, but what do you have to back up your own "theories" ? From what I have heard so far they are based on third-hand information you cannot substantiate, your own imagination, and stubbornness. Have you ever done any original free reed research, on old documents, or instruments, yourself ? Do you have any concept of just how little source material exists on the subject ? The kind of "smoking gun" evidence, which you have indicated is all that you will accept, is virtually non-existent, so any research could get absolutely nowhere. Let's just give up ! Anyway, on that note my Louis Lachenal (Part 1) and Michaelstein papers went online today, if you follow this link. and I have an article to finish for PICA. My answers to your questions follow : This is disingenuous, I am not going to "argue the toss" with you yet again on this same topic. I can give you no other answer than to please look again at all the previous posts about this from Wes, Jim and myself. No, they have understood the implications of Patent Law, it is yourself who refuses to accept them. If the 1829 Patent did not cover the concertina, as you state, why did nobody else, in "England, Wales and the Town of Berwick-upon-Tweed", start to make them until 1844, the very year it expired ? Sorry ! I took your question to be a straightforward one, I did not realise that it too was disingenuous. Now you have made your meaning clear to me : To the best of my recollection the word Concertina is never mentioned in any of the Wheatstone ledgers, so using that "evidence", and taking your argument to its reductio ad absurdum : The concertina was never invented, never patented and never manufactured. Therefore it cannot exist ! So what are we doing wasting all this time over something that doesn't exist ? This is absolutely my last post on this Topic, this can go nowhere. Fancy a pint anybody ?
  21. I had one like it about 25 years ago, which I think I may have "swapped" with Neil Wayne (?) Certainly there was a similar one (identified as C436) in his old Concertina Museum collection (so now presumably at the Horniman ?). They are of typical German construction, as has already been said. I would describe it as a "house-shaped double German concertina", and Rich Morse's one even has the suggestion of a door between two windows on the ends. There is an amazing house-shaped "single" concertina in the Musik- und Wintersportmuseum Klingenthal, which very clearly has both windows and even an overhanging roof ! It was shown in the Exhibition Sehnsucht aus dem Blasebalg, at the Schlossbergmuseum, Chemnitz, in 2001. You can see some of the other exhibits (including an astonishing concertina made to look like a German "Pickelhaube" spiked helmet) if you click on the hyperlink, then on "Galerie", then on the sub-headings that come up. Edited to update hyperlink.
  22. Goran, I'm afraid I think that it is you who have us stalled here, with all this nit-picking, it is taking up all my free-time just to answer you ! I have been trying to start on a fresh topic for the past week, and said as much three days ago, in the hope that you would allow me to. Unfortunately I will not now be able to do so for the forseeable future, as I have run out of time due to other commitments (which I told you about, privately, a fortnight ago). My answers to your latest round of questions follow : 1) I did not claim that this was hard evidence, but made it clear, at the very beginning, that it was "My interpretation". 2) I believe, based on contemporary evidence, that the first introduction of "Wheatstone's Patent Concertina" was that given by Regondi in June 1834, and near-contemporary evidence that "it was not until the end of the year 1833 that the instrument named the Concertina was invented". 3) If you read the piece again, you will see that I did not say that I believed Roylance did any of these. I pointed out various very apparent typographical/spelling errors that should have been caught in the production stages of the work, but suggested that unfortunately neither an editor, nor a proof-reader seem to have been employed. I did not suggest that Roylance didn't know the date of Captain Gardnor's purchase, (about which he is very specific, as you yourself have pointed out) but rather inferred that the typesetter had seemingly missed the year out of the text. Unfortunately 19th century typesetters had a very bad reputation for getting drunk and producing garbled texts (otherwise the man was incompetent !), perhaps Roylance was a victim of this ? 4) The actual "year of naming" is not directly mentioned. 5) Of course it is a matter of putting together a jigsaw puzzle, history is like that, and always will be, it isn't a precise science. (Is science ?) There is no such thing as "the final picture", and I would be very wary of any historian (or scientist for that matter) who claims there is. I would compare history to a car accident : There is the physical evdence, which demands expert interpretation, and then there are the witnesses who will all tend to give different accounts (which are sometimes completely contradictory !), and then there are those who claim to know all about it, but did not actually see it. The poor investigator has to try to make sense of it all ! But we will never get anywhere by making up theories for which there is absolutely no supporting evidence, much of the incorrect "accepted history" from the past is a result of opinions being stated as fact. On the other hand, if you will only accept evidence of a "smoking gun" kind, then we won't get anywhere either in concertina history research, the instrument was always too ephemeral to be written about much at the time. 6) I never thought it was, it was your argument which I was responding to ! 7) I do not believe that I have made any such statement, only a reference to one specific patent being evaded. (This was because it could only offer protection for the "Improvements", but not the instrument as such, which could therefore still be made without them.) 8) I have an open mind, but I think you should have evidence if you mean to suggest that he did not (likewise for Wheatstone), otherwise I will continue to believe the evidence that says he did. (The Nazis tried very hard to prove that Demian, who was ethnically Armenian, did not invent the accordion. A book was produced, during their era, claiming the honour for Buschmann, a German. But this is now discredited in Germany.) Demian very quickly developed the early model of Accordion, shown in his patent, into an instrument we would more readily recognise as such today. That is the nature of invention, and patents ! (Just like Wheatstone !) 9) I was referring to the music they published for the instrument in the 1830's, during the life of the Patent. What they may have done when writing historically, long after the Patent expired, is irrelevant in this context. 10) Long after they stopped making them ! Either spelling is correct (I would use both of them, depending on context), but if you do register a name, you cannot then spell it differently and still be covered. 11) I have already said that this is incorrect. 12) In essence this is correct, as the first form of the "symphonium with bellows" appears in the 1829 Patent. It is inconsequential that the more developed instrument, bearing the name concertina, did not appear for another 4 years. 13) The first 48-key in the ledgers is number 154, sold to Mr. Purdy, 22 Oct. 1837, but they are not a complete record of production, so there could have been an earlier one.
  23. I will give you the full quotation, just to clarify matters : However, as I have already stated, it is quite evident that Roylance would have greatly benefitted from the services of a good editor, not forgetting a proof-reader ! The piece is confusing, with several readily apparent spelling/typographical errors, certainly one erroneous date and another one seemingly completely missing (probably typos. ?). My interpretation of the first two paragraphs [with an explanatory addition] follows : *The English Concertina was invented by Professor Charles Wheatstone, (afterwards Sir Charles Wheatstone) and was first introduced to Public notice [by Giulio Regondi, in Dublin,] in June 1834. The first Instrument was sold to Capt: Gardnor of the 2nd Life Guards in 1833, it was then called the "Symphonion" with bellows, and not until December the 27th in that year was it named the Concertina.* I cannot prove it, of course, but it is based on my research of source documentation and is not just wild speculation. But it was going on all the time ! Also, there was nothing Wheatstone could do to prevent it, even if he had wished to. No. On the question of Charles Wheatstone having allegedly "patented" the name "Symphonium", it is worth adding that the firm thereafter always used the spelling "Symphonion", in all their publications, thus seemingly negating any alleged "patent" claim. I hope this might be the end, I have fresh themes to begin !
  24. Goran, I am sorry, but the subject of what a patent does, or does not, protect has already been gone over, but you refuse to accept it. However, even if the name "Concertina" could have been patented by Wheatstone, it would not have prevented even someone in Scotland, or Ireland, from using it, never mind France or Germany. If you take the time to read the Patent carefully, you will see that it was granted (as was normal) for "England, Wales and the Town of Berwick-upon-Tweed" only. Also, the life of a patent is 14 years, so after that time anyone can make use of what had been patented anyway. The name "Accordion" appears in Demian's Patent, but, as we have seen, it didn't prevent that name from being applied to the first German concertinas and being used by many others. I know that the evidence is not as clear as one might wish, but the inferred "date of birth" would appear to be 27th December 1833, and I believe that the "father" was Charles Wheatstone (but I don't have D.N.A. evidence). If you find any evidence to confirm your theory I would be very interested, but until then I don't see any point in discussing this pure speculation further.
  25. I shall let Charles Roylance answer for himself : Roylance's letter was one of the first salvos in a war of words, which can be followed in the pages of Musical Opinion & Music Trade Review, that produced much useful information on concertina history, but sometimes got just as heated as some of the exchanges in this Forum. (Nothing new then !) I shall next turn my attention to that correspondence, but I will do so in the "6-sided, 'pinhole' Aeolas" Topic, where I believe it more properly belongs.
  • Create New...