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Everything posted by Dowright

  1. "Ones made by the sons" is a broad category. I do not think that all of them should be condemned because of some. I have owned "Jeffries Bros" instruments that were right up there with the quality and sound of "C. Jeffries, Maker" ones. The bad rap for "ones made by the sons" should firmly rest with the "Aldershott Road" instruments from Charles Jeffries, Jr. His clumsy raised-end duets and Anglos, in particular, deserve the scorn. In later years, Thomas Jeffries supposedly cobbled together a few instruments that were "dreadful" (Tommy William's words, I think), though not stamped "Thomas Jeffries." I have only seen information concerning six instruments stamped "William Jeffries" and have only had one (a pretty nice one) in my hands. Some "William Jeffries" instruments(contemporary with or successors to "Jeffries Bros" instruments) may rank down with those of Charles, Jr., or not. To my knowledge the current information on "William Jeffries" instruments is too limited to make any sweeping judgments.
  2. Regarding the year in which Lachenal Maccann No. 1788 was made: We have the bill of sale for Lachenal Maccann No. 1819, dated 8 February 1898. (No. 1819 is 62 keys, raised metal ends, metal buttons, steel reeds, 6-fold bellows). I think that, in that period, Lachenal was making about 20 Maccann duets per month. (They had just started making Crane duets--with a separate series of serial numbers). Thus, since No. 1788 is 31 numbers earlier than No. 1819, I would date its manufacture as about December 1897. (How about"Finished 20 December 1897, between lunch time and Tea Time.")
  3. Bill, I would much appreciate the serial number for your Lachenal 20 key. (I would have sent an email, but yours is Private in your profile.) You have said that it is "c. 1889". Given some internet misinformation about Lachenal dating, I would like to see if your information squares with mine. I presume that the serial number is around 100,000. Thanks for considering my request.
  4. Dirge, It would be interesting to know the serial number. My guess is that the serial number is above 3600. All 61-key Edeophone Maccann (14 instruments) for which I have information have serial numbers above 3600.
  5. I was a professor of economics and finance at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
  6. Serial number? Not much to go on--just one photo. But I'm guessing in the 140,000-160,000 range.
  7. Tommy Elliott with his "breakaway" concertina is shown in Figure 9 of Viona "Elliott Lane, Randall C. Merris, and Chris Algar, "Tommy Elliot and the Musical Elliotts," Papers of the International Concertina Association (PICA), Vol. 5 (2008), pp.16-49; available in the PICA section of the International Concertina Association website, www.concertina.org. I would take this opportunity to recommend this article as being of general interest--NOT because I am a co-author. The centerpiece of the article is Viona's rememberances of her parents' act and her own trouping during World War II. Readers will find unexpected information about the history of cycling and the Cycling Elliotts; the invention of the unicycle (by Viona's great grandfather), the first British saxophone band (Elliott Savonas), Tommy crossiing paths with Hitler and Eva Braun; the nude model "Jane of the Daily Mirror," and more.... I humbly suggest that you might find it to be entertaining.
  8. I have been attending the Noel Hill Irish Concertina School (NHICS) in the Midwest (formerly, South Milford, Ohio; now, Erlanger, Kentucky) since 2002, except for two years when health or work issues prevented my attendance. I am what might be described as a "perpetual intermediate-level" player. I cannot add much to the high praise of Noel's playing and teaching methods. Good music teaching requires knowledge and skill, but those are not enough. Good teaching requires "plain old hard work" and patience. Come to the NHICS next year and see how Noel embodies all these attributes. Looking forward to meeting you next year. Randy Merris
  9. The recent "The Edeophone" topic in the Discussion Forum for Concertina History turned to my appeal for Serial Numbers and accompanying Descriptions for all types of Lachenal concertinas, as input to a longstanding research project (Randy Merris, Chris Algar, and Wes Williams) on dating the manufacture/sale of individual Lachenal concertinas. As I noted in the other forum, our arbitrary benchmark is a database of 4,000 instruments, before starting on the drafting of the piece. As of today, we have serial numbers/descriptions for 3,901 instruments. Having collected the information over more than a decade, we are getting close. My friend, Geoffrey Crabb, has suggested that I post an appeal for numbers/descriptions here in the General Discussion, which probably will receive more notice. I am asking if you would be so kind as to provide information about Lachenals that you currently own, you previously owned, or know about (for example, that belong to friends). Please specify in addition to serial number and company label (Louis Lachenal or Lachenal & Co. if the label is available; or retailer label, if applicable): 1. Type (English, Anglo, or duet) and, for duets, Maccann or Crane system. Special system (for example, Jedcertina) if applicable. 2. Number of keys (excluding air button). Specialty buttons (bird call, baby cry, ets.) if applicable. 3. WE = Wood ends; ME = metal ends. Raised or flat ends. Specialty wood (for example, amboyna) if applicable. 4. BB = Bone buttons; MB = Metal buttons. Special-material buttons (for example, plastic or glass) if applicable. 5. Number of bellows folds: usually, 4-fold or 5-fold for English and 5-fold, 6-fold, or sometimes 7-fold for Anglos. Most commonly, 6-fold for duets. Please indicate if you think that the bellows are original or newer. 6. English Model: Edeophone, Inimitiable, Excelsior--if applicable. 7. English: bowing valves--if applicable. 6. Any other information--particularly, if there are any dates, names, or other information handwritten inside. For Anglo concertinas: If you are reading the number through the fretwork on the left-side, please be careful not to miss a leading "1". We have received many 5-digit Anglo numbers that were really 6-digit serial numbers for which the leading "1" was missing. If possible, it is best to check the number inside the instrument. (if you are not familiar with removal of the end, contact me for help. It is a "breeze". Your input would be very much appreciated--either as a reply to this posting or in an email to me at rmerris@merris.org. Randy Merris
  10. David. It is the one you played at Noel Hill Irish Concertina School, 2008. You shouldn't doubt you ole friend and whistle student. Dowright--that's me, Randy! Incidentally, it is pronounced "Do - Wright," not "Dow - Right", and my motto is "If it's right, it's Dowright."
  11. To all: Thanks for the additional Lachenal descriptions/serial numbers. Regarding the demand for Crane duets prior to the introduction of the Crane/Triumph (adopted by the Salvation Army in 1912): The Dutch Daly endorsement of the Crane concertina probably provided a significant boost to the popularity of Cranes. Though largely forgotten until my recent article, Dutch Daly was well-known in the early Crane years. (see "Dutch Daly: Comedy and Concertinas on the Variety Stage," Papers of the International Concertina Association, Vol. 4, 2007. pp. 1-26; available online in the PICA Section of the ICA website: www.concertina.org. Of course, it was an uphill battle against the highly respected Maccann duets and their famous players--John Hill Maccann himself, Percy Honri, Alexander Prince, etc.
  12. Chris Algar and I (Randy Merris) have been collecting descriptions/serial numbers for Lachenal concertinas for more than a decade. We plan to write one or more pieces about our database, when the sample size reaches 4,000 (an arbitrary benckmark, not a scintifically determined sample size). The database currently includes about 3,900 instruments. Regarding the below-5000 serial number range, there were three main sets of serial numbers: Set 1. Early Anglos that included, but were not limited to, those that Lachenal made for sale by Wheatstone. Set 2. Maccann series that later became a joint Maccann/Crane series. Set 3. Crane series, which recorded Cranes separately, up to (I think; subject to further study) about Crane #900. Additional entries that may belong in Set 1, but probably were recorded in Set 2: #2182 "Organoloe" 81-key specialty instrument (made for Arthur Watson, Leeds)in the Horniman Collection #2277 A 48-key English baritone--the only English concertina that we have seen in the below-#5000 series. #4108 Lintophone (made for a performer; Charles Gay)in the Horniman Collection A few New Model Anglos made just prior to Lachenal's closure (for example, #4674, #4679,#4681, #4759) #4860 The Edeophone Anglo that has recently been discussed at concertina.net Maccann and Crane Edeophones (and Anglo #4860) are the only Edeophones of any type in our below-#5000 set. Our database currently contains 345 duets--223 Maccanns and 122 Cranes. The lowest numbered of the 31 Maccann Edeophones is #2274, and the lowest numbered of the 9 Crane Edeophones is #1172. Thus, it appears that Lachenal did not start making Edeophone duets until well after the Edeophone design was registered (RD 129662)in 1889. I would much appreciate any Lachenal descriptions/serial numbers that concertina.net users would be so kind as to provide. The sooner we reach a sample size of 4,000, the sooner our write-ups will appear. Dear Malcolm Clapp: Geoffrey Crabb politely said that you should not bother to provide all your descriptions/serial numbers. I want to be polite, but I am also a little greedy when it come to Lachenal information. I would much appreciate any information that you could kindly provide. Regarding the Wheatstone Edeophone Anglos: I own one of those made in the mid-1930s for a performer based in Ohio. It is a 40-key in D/A--a nice key combination. My only complaint about the bellows is that they are 7-fold. Just a personal preference: I prefer 6-fold bellows, whether Wheatstone, Jeffries, or whatever.
  13. I had a Lachenal Anglo in F/C, but is was a baritone. F/C is a very nice key combination. For an oversize instrument, it is so very playable. The low-note reeds were not slow staring, as with some large reeds. Almost the feel of playing a regular size C/G. I'll stop here before I psych myself to repurchase it.
  14. No taker for the Wheatstone miniature. There should be no surprise, slight or otherwise. It is obviously the price. If it were $3500 instead of GBP3500, the seller might have had a chance at a buyer. The value of provenance has its limit. Not so long ago, I acquired the 12-key English Wheatstone miniature purchased in 1911 by Sam Aukland, with his name and the year inscribed in the metal fretwork. Sam and daughter Betty Aukland (and, for a time, along with "Little Tweet", the canary), of course, were pretty well-known performers. The instrument is unusual in that it has raised ends. And it is unique in that it was the concertina that Betty (born Beatrice) first learned to play, given that she was very young and her fingers were too small to learn on a full-size instrument. I paid little more than one half of the asking price of the miniature in question. But, of course, it only takes one bidder with a big bag of money and a real strong desire for Alfred Worsley's miniature to pay well over the "reasonable" market price. Therefore, I cannot fault the Ebay seller for trying.
  15. We (Algar-Chambers-Gaskins-Lee-Merris-Williams) have Jeffries sales receipts for severeal Jeffries concertinas. All but one are from the post-1900 period. However, the one exception is from June 1899--the same month and year as the "Mr. Canacott receipt". The receipt--call it the "Wardle receipt" since it was for a purchase by a Mr. Wardle--was reproduced in Concertina Magazine, 24 (1987), page 19. The Wardle receipt is dated June 9, 1899--just 2 1/2 weeks before the Mr. Canacott receipt of June 26. Like the latter, the Wardle receipt is for a 39-key Anglo concertina and leather case: "One Concertina with 39 Keys & leather Case in the Key of G. {Pound sign}8-5-0" [The receipt also indicates that Mr. Wardle paid the full amount: "Cash Paid (Pound sign)8-5-0" The printed sales receipt forms and the handwritings, including the "C. Jeffries" signatures, on the receipts clearly match (even taking account that I am not a handwriting expert). The differential between the sale prices of the two instruments, GBP 8-5-0 versus GBP 7-7-0, is interesting, given that the Wardle receipt does not indicate any special features that would account for the additional shillings. (And there might have been justification for Mr. Wardle to pay less--not more--given his up-front payment of the full purchase price.) But maybe the differential is explained by the difference in tunings--the Wardle in G (that is, C. Jeffries' term for G/D tuning)and the Canacott in C (that is, C. Jeffries' term for C/G tuning). Could it be that a G/D tuning was "special" enough to ask for a few extra shillings? [incidentally, notice that the Canacott receipt is clearly dated June 26, 1899 at the top, but at the bottom show "26/8/99". But presumably Charles Jeffries knew that June was the 6th month of the year.]
  16. RE: Chris Drinkwater's Edeophone #58856. Actually, it appears to date from the early 1920s--probably in 1922. Relative to many other Lacehnal concertinas, a fairly accurate estimate is faciliated by two Lachenal bills of sale--(1) a bill of sale, showing that "Mr. A. E. Perkins" purchased both #58885 (56 Key) and #58887 (48-key Edeophone with bowing valves) on July 10, 1923 and (2) a bill of sale, showing the purchase of #59086 (56-key Edeophone) on April 2, 1923. Thus, it appears that Mr. Perkins's concertinas were made in 1922 and held in inventory for several months. During the 1923-1930 period, it appears that Lachenal made about 1,000 English concertinas, or about 125 instruments per year on average. A bill of sale dated 19 September 1930 was for Edeophone #60263.
  17. Lowest numbered Cranes (number less than #400) that I have seen (including a couple from craneconcertina.com): Lowest number: #54, a 48-key instrument 35-key Crane: #166 42-key Cranes: #215 and #225 55-key Cranes: #153, #217, #256, #328, Other 48-key Cranes: #54, #82, #120, #262, #286, and #324 67-key Crane: #350 Highest numbered Crane that I have seen: #4960 (Highest numbered Maccann that I have seen:#4850)
  18. For the full story, see Viona Elliott, Randall Merris, and Chris Algar, 'Tommy Elliott and the Musical Elliotts', Papers of the International Concertina Association 5 (2008), pp. 16-49; available in the PICA section of the ICA website at www.concertina.org.
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