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Stephen Chambers

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  1. So the reeds are French-made harmonium ones, but they could easily have been imported. Are the ends marked R and L respectively, or something else?
  2. That's what it is David, and they evidently used to be common enough in Germany, before WW2. These catalogue pages are from the 1930s: For that matter, there have been diatonic accordions made with chromatic basses, and chromatic accordions with diatonic basses - it takes all sorts...
  3. Yes, a Bandonion or Bandoneón (depending on your language), and made by the firm of "F. Lange vormals [formerly] C. F. Uhlig" in the industrial city of Chemnitz in Saxony (known as "the Manchester of Germany") where Uhlig had invented the German concertina. "Fully inlaid" ones like that were the most expensive models in their day.
  4. Of course, some of the machinery, and the workers, can be seen in action in the 1961 Concertina Factory newsreel.
  5. That very high serial number confirms it is a Lachenal then Tony, made at the beginning of 1924 according to the latest estimates, and the parallel reed chambers indicate that it is the Special Anglo Model I'd supposed it to be - they're very nice instruments. They were the most expensive model of Anglo, at £13 0 0 on the c.1920 Price List, though by the time of the c.1930 Price List they'd been overtaken by the new New Model Anglos.
  6. I've already commented in the other thread that the chord book looks like a typical Jeffries handwritten one (I have several of them!), and that (+ the Jeffries Bros. Price List) makes me think the original buyer of the Edeophone probably already had a Jeffries duet.
  7. It's the 1917 change in the London postal suffixes that made me suggest that year as a cut-off printing date Wes, when Praed Street would have changed from being simply "London W" to being "London W2" - and businesses need to keep their price lists up-to-date, if nothing else...
  8. I'd reckon the "Jeffries Bros." designation, plus the "Praed Street, London, W" address, suggest a date between c.1910 and 1917 for the printing of the Price List Wes, and the typeface looks like it's probably of that sort of vintage too. Whilst the presence of the Jeffries Bros. Price List, along with a typical example of a Jeffries handwritten chord chart book, suggest to me that the Edeophone's owner had originally bought one of their duets from Jeffries Bros. themselves, maybe 10 or 20 years previously. Seconded! Thanks David!!!
  9. Everything in this auction lot is rare, even a Lachenal Price List, but a Jeffries one is unheard of, never mind a Jeffries duet made by Lachenal's - in comparison the handwritten Jeffries duet "chord book" seems almost commonplace... 😲 (I've got several of them.)
  10. It sounds like you may have got a Lachenal "Special Anglo Model" 39-key instrument, only they have (non-radial) parallel reed-pans à la Jeffries'. They're uncommon, but I've had quite a few of them. Only, are you sure that it's a Lachenal? Because the lack of a Lachenal serial number, and the single digit 5, make that sound doubtful' This is truly an occasion where "a picture (better-still, a bunch of them) speaks a thousand words!"
  11. It's a variety of cherepashka (="turtle" in Russian), the miniature Russian diatonic accordion, and used for novelty - much as miniature concertinas would be. Semyon Shtyrkhunov, who posted these videos on YouTube, and is playing it, makes cherepashkas and has figured on melodeon.net (making and selling them) in the past. The Russian text reveals that this is "The first harmonica-boot in modern Russia. The creation of the hands of the Shtyrkhunov family."
  12. And I thought my little 2" Wheatstone one (shown beside a normal-size matchbox for scale), #32151, was tiny! 😳
  13. That's how it used to be done, before there were such things as electronic tuners.
  14. It is this recollection that prompted me to question the relationship to the Dickinson story. So he didn't actually mention "equipment" - that's a red herring. Robert is talking about 1961 when Harry rescued what he could of "the red books" (the old Wheatstone ledgers), original concertina music manuscripts by Regondi and others, portrait engravings of Regondi and Blagrove, etc. from the bonfire, and sold himself the first concertina, the symphonion, and other items from the Wheatstone collection of instruments. All of which heritage meant nothing to B&H. Production of concertinas certainly didn't finish then, it continued at B&H's own factory, with English and duet concertinas numbered from 36685 to 37083 being produced between July 1961 and January 1974, and Anglos from 58527 to 59498 between August 1961 and December 1974. I was blessed to know Harry Minting quite by chance, because we went to the same central London musical instrument auctions in the 1970s/'80s, and discovered that we both had tortoiseshell Aeolas. Later I started visiting him at home, and we talked a lot about Wheatstone's, and the dance band that Harry had played in with Ernest Rutterford (whose father had been Harry's concertina teacher), and he'd lend me volumes of the red books so I could get them photocopied - he even told me that he'd like me to have the originals, but I'd left London and was setting up a shop in Dublin when he died, so Neil Wayne bought them instead. But I also knew the flute maker John Wicks, who was working for Rudall Carte's at Duncan Terrace at the same time too, so he was able to tell me more about Wheatstone's and Geoffrey Hawkes (MD of B&H). And I've known Steve Dickinson since the '70s.
  15. I haven't had time to watch the interview yet (I only learnt of it yesterday), so I don't know what Robert Minting has said, but that is incorrect. What Harry saved in 1961 were the the surviving ledgers, when Geoffrey Hawkes ordered the burning of the stock of sheet music, the sales ledgers, and other paperwork (some of which I have). He also (still being Sales Manager) sold himself choice items from the small Wheatstone collection of historic instruments (some of which I have). But Wheatstone's didn't close down in 1964, they only lost autonomy. The equipment and many of the the staff were moved into the Boosey & Hawkes factory at Edgware, but by 1974 the staff had dwindled away to just Sid Watkins.
  16. Wheatstone's factory at Duncan Terrace was filmed in April 1961, and was then absorbed into the Boosey & Hawkes factory at Edgware. Harry was offered a post as a ledger clerk at B&H, and left to start his own music business. In 1974, the last of the old Wheatstone craftsmen, Sid Watkins (who Steve Wheatstone had been helping out on Saturdays) died - at which time B&H threw everything that was left of Wheatstone's into a skip. Steve Dickinson rescued the contents and started making concertinas in 1975. That's it, in short.
  17. Looking to verify the location, I've now found a photo of the exterior of 3, Ives Street in 1971 when it had become the offices of the Mary Quant Ltd. fashion house, and you can see the same folding doors, with four panes of glass, that are in the Wheatstone factory photo. I'll post a link to it, because of Getty Images' copyright: https://www.gettyimages.ca/detail/news-photo/the-offices-of-the-mary-quant-ltd-fashion-house-at-3-ives-news-photo/1129106861
  18. I've seen this photo before (probably at Harry Minting's house), and seem to recall that it's from when C. Wheatstone & Co. Ltd., Manufacturers of Concertinas - Music Publishers, were at 3, Ives Street, Draycott Avenue, London, S.W.3, from 1956-9. (I have a letter, on Wheatstone's headed paper, dated 19th February 1958 from Harry Minting, to concertina-teacher A. M. Ross, in Bearsden, Dunbartonshire).
  19. That's what I was wondering Paul, in fact it's a matter of transposition whichever way you look at it...
  20. Hi Dan, long time no see! 🙂 It is confusing, the way he expresses it. Is he talking the same as an Irish player, thinking of a C/G as a D box, a Bb/F as a C box, or an Ab/Eb as a Bb box (it's the third key of the instrument, the first of the "across the rows" keys)? Or is it some transposition thing?
  21. The Crabb with S.A. markings wouldn't surprise me at all, seeing that Tommy Williams said '[Lachenal's last owner] Ballinger, "turned over all the Salvation Army orders to Harry Crabb, whose father was dead then, rather than let Wheatstone's have it.' " Though, after taking over Lachenal's in 1933, Wheatstone's evidently tried to continue the former's S.A. business, advertising their Crane/Triumph duets in S.A. literature, and even promoting Aeola 48-key tenor English concertinas for S.A. use, But there was never again a Salvation Army contract, as such, for concertinas. I think matters weren't as "regimented" (when it came to concertinas) as they were with the brass instruments, which the Salvation Army made themselves. (See the 2020 Galpin Society Journal paper by Arnold Myers (who I've known for many years) "Instrument Making of the Salvation Army") Ab/Eb Anglos were certainly what they generally used, though maybe there was the odd Bb/F player.
  22. I'll throw a couple of spanners into the works and mention that it was George Jones who had the Salvation Army contract, followed by Lachenal's, and that they made high pitch Ab/Eb Anglos especially for the Salvation Army to play in Bb. I've never heard of them using Bb/F Anglos though. There was no A-440 pitch in Britain in the 19th century, and the Salvation Army played in High pitch from the outset (in 1878) right up until 1964. Some S.A. officers did "break ranks" however and bought concertinas from Crabb's, Jeffries', or Wheatstone's, notably General Booth's daughter Eva:
  23. Oh dear, I'm sorry to hear that, but I know the feeling... 😕
  24. So we're talking in the context of a Temperance meeting in Dublin, where "improving" (sacred or classical) music would be performed, not Irish traditional music - I know Paraic Walsh hasn't mentioned that's what his interest is here, but he has in private correspondence that we've exchanged. Dan Worrall cited another performance of M. E. Walker's (footnote 25), at the 1872 Dublin Exhibition, under the category "Arrival and Use of the English Concertina" - whilst I've found references to the soprano Madame De la Vega Wilson singing at High Mass in the pro-Cathedral, Dublin, on Sunday 19th October 1862, and another performance in August 1868.
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