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Stephen Chambers

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  1. The entry isn't at all easy to find because the family name is almost illegible on the 1861 Census, but I found Joseph T. Tidder, 45, "Gun Stocker" [someone who makes/fits the wooden stocks for guns], Sarah Tidder, 40, and William Tidder, 14, at 1, Hawkins Street, Mile End Old Town. The address is highly significant because it is a turning off Jubilee Street and only 5 streets (500 yards) due-north of George Jones' (pre-fire) premises at Crombies Row (on the north side of Commercial Road), and his (post-fire) premises at Lucas Place (diagonally opposite on the south side of Commercial Road, on the corner with Sutton Street). Though still no better than (good) circumstantial evidence, this makes it seem even more likely that Tidder was one of Jones' 15 apprentices. Living in such an extremely convenient location (as well as being the right age for starting an apprenticeship) in 1861, combined with the similarity in the careers that they followed, would seem a very remarkable coincidence otherwise. I've highlighted the relevant streets/addresses on the scan (below) from Stanford's 1862 Library Map of London and its Suburbs.
  2. For the benefit of people trying to advise you, I'd better point out that the instrument in question is a very old 20-key German one, because your mention of a reed pan greatly confuses the issue and makes it sound like your enquiry is about a concertina of (much more expensive) traditional English construction. (A reed pan is a wooden assembly into which the bevelled, tapered, individual reed frames of English-style reeds slide.) Presumably what you've got inside it are traditional German-style long-plate reeds, similar to those in your Scholer? A picture speaks a thousand words!
  3. If only it was so easy with antique German 20-key concertinas - and this one may be in the region of 150 years old! They only very rarely identify their makers, and even then it's with a cryptic monogram, or trademark, stamped on one of the ends, and it can take a lot of work to establish whose it was. Any internal pencil markings were to guide factory workers/future repairers when it came to initial assembly/later reassembly of the instrument. They're usually marked D (for Diskant = treble) in the right-hand side, and B (for Bass) in the left-hand side, whilst yours has a batch number, in German script, of 17. So I can't tell you who made it, but they were very likely at Klingenthal, where the trade was centered.
  4. Though a Cajun accordion CAN be made as a Québecois accordion - I got one made for me by Marc Savoy, after he'd decided (from our conversations) that what I needed was a box in "strong Québecois" tuning. It's tuned in Equal Temperament, with 15 cents of tremolo between the middle reeds, and it barks! The sound of it caused quite a stir at the Saturday morning music session in Mark's shop, when I went to collect it.
  5. Copied from the Sterling, Monarch, etc. boxes of a century ago, like my antique Globe "Gold Medal" in the photo: The flattened thirds work for Cajun players, but sound sour to those of us who use our melodeons to play other musical genres, though (ironically) the full-on Just Intonation of the original German makers (still used on harmonicas) sounds beautifully sweet and would suit either purpose. The original reeds were also of high quality, made by Dix in Germany.
  6. There seems to be some confusion in the ledger entries for serial numbers 34518 and 9, involving a second-hand (rebuilt/reconditioned?) 67-key in 1943, and perhaps the entries for those numbers somehow didn't get filled-in originally in April 1937 - when your instrument would appear to have been made. The quality will still be good, but not quite as good as that of instruments made earlier in the 1930s, because these later instruments had started to include plywood (instead of solid maple), and "hook" lever-actions (rather than riveted). Seeing that it's in Sweden, and that it's a Crane-system duet concertina, I'd guess that it was made for Salvation Army use, in which case it would have been made in High Pitch (half a semitone sharp), but the pitch may have been changed to A-440 after the Salvation Army changed to that tuning in the 1960s.
  7. They're not doing themselves any favours by not responding to questions - that will inevitably make people suspicious.
  8. There's a photo here of the Doncaster Citadel Salvation Army Concertina Band (formed 1917) with twelve players, and two larger instruments on the right, taken on 23rd April 1967: https://www.concertina.info/tina.faq/images/SalvDoncaster_1967.jpg
  9. Apart from everything that Geoff Wooff has already mentioned, and to compare like with like, I always find that there's more of a "honk" off the reeds in a 20-key Lachenal than there is off a 30-key one of the same model. I'd attribute the difference to the chambering of the reedpans, which is parallel in a 20-key Lachenal (as is also the case with a Jones 20-key, or a Jeffries/Crabb), but radial (and sweeter) in a Lachenal 30-key.
  10. You're right, there is another miniature to the left of the Aeola on the table, as well as the one immediately below it, sitting on top of another accordion.
  11. I only have an old Polaroid of my own one of these, here with me in West Cork, but you'll see that the original thumb-straps on it are perfectly normal, as are the leather-covered finger rests. The instrument itself has interesting (and very topical at the moment) history to it, having been used to accompany psalms and hymns in Stoke Mandeville Old Church, which was closed in 1866 because it was considered unsafe. The site of the church, and its graveyard, are presently undergoing a major archaeological investigation because they are about to be swept away by the construction of the controversial HS2 railway line: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/may/07/unique-opportunity-hs2-unearths-history-medieval-church
  12. I was under lockdown a long way from home when I commented on this previously, but I've been back there recently and took a photograph of a French accordion/flutina reedpan to show what I mean. Of course the white leather valves (that are still on this one) would have detached and floated away a very long time ago: Coincidentally, this mid-19th century image of three straw-hatted men (possibly sailors?) turned up today, with the one on the left holding an accordion of the type I'm talking about:
  13. It appears to be the same one Daniel, and to have all the same faults.
  14. He's in Somerset in time for the 1939 Register Wes (taken on 29 September 1939), which provides a snapshot of his life at the outbreak of WW2. His address is given as Merry Garden, Langport, occupation Army Pensioner Disable[d], along with his wife Florence V. Travers, occupation House & Shop Duties.
  15. You're fortunate that your one is numbered so close to that receipt, which is one of relatively few reference points in the ongoing compilation of the database, Andrew. Only we've no way of knowing when any of them was actually completed, and no doubt it wasn't always in consecutive serial number order (whilst the extant Wheatstone ledgers sometimes reveal instruments that weren't finally completed until years/decades later than you might expect!), but we only have occasional dates of sale/purchase to go on.
  16. That's what it appears to be, it seems to have left the factory with normal wooden rails and hand straps fitted - you can see the plugged holes where they used to be attached. A horrible way to treat a rare and lovely New Model Lachenal!
  17. It's a late incarnation of the "wavy-sided" German concertinas that were made in the late-19th/early 20th centuries. I've seen 1930-ish German mandolins with similarly inlaid scratchplates on them.
  18. Or does it say R32475 in the other end Triplem? (The R and the L signify Right and Left.)
  19. Piano-fingered concertinas seem to have been a German invention Jim, patented in England on 9th July 1862 by C. F. W. Rust (for F. Glier). After that patent expired they were manufactured in England by George Jones, and later Lachenal & Co. Versions with a diatonic left-hand side ddn't come along until much later again. These catalogue entries are from the Klingenthal firms Meinel & Herold, and Hess, in the 1930s, but I've never seen an English-made instrument of this type:
  20. I have the receipt for number 196865, which is of the same model but with 30 keys, and was sold (new) for £5.0.0, on 9th January 1926. So yours must date from around 1925-26. The external finish is rosewood veneer.
  21. Indeed, though some were made with a diatonic left-hand side...
  22. Lachenal used different number sequences for Englishes, Anglos, and Duets. 2277 is a number from the Duet sequence, though I seem to remember having had a regular New Model Anglo (they're rare, but very good) 40 years ago that also had a Duet serial number...
  23. "This listing was ended by the seller because the item is no longer available."
  24. Ah, I misunderstood your "-" and thought you meant what was inside the quotes in the ABC... 🙄
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