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Mike Jones

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Everything posted by Mike Jones

  1. Sean, I'll see what I can do for pictures but I think i've used up my allocation of space. I have the photos and can easily attach them later. In the meantime, searching the web last night I came across an identical instrument, badged Crabb, on the Squeezebox marketplace website, https://www.squeezeboxmarketplace.com/concertina/anglo-concertina/Anglo-Concertina-CG-20-key-by-Crabb The diameter of the end bolts looks the same, the brass knurled small strap bolts look the same and the fretwork is the same design down to the pointed ends of the fretting, the size and shape of the cartouche hole for the label, it even mentions the aluminium shoes for the reeds in their legend and it has no labels. I'd like to know what number it has inside (and how far degraded the Aluminium is, as it does tend to oxidise fairly easily). It certainly gives me hope that my original ID was correct. Mike
  2. Hi Wes Thanks, I had thought of this, but the rivetted action is not Lachenal or much like Wheatstone and not very much like Jones either, and the fretwork looks exactly the same as another Crabb 20k I've seen, much better cut than any Lachenal with the terminal scrolls in the fretwork pointed, not rounded. The general build quality is much better too. The Bellows are five fold leather with black papers, not the usual cross and dot, and are in excellent fettle and look to be original. Who would put black papers on the bellows of their cheapest instruments? Crab and Wheatstone come to mind. The palm rests most closely resemble those on the 20k Wheatstones and are nothing like Lachenal or Jones. The number inside, 9231, is definitely not a Lachenal (it would need to be built somewhere in the 1860's, its much too refined a build too) or Wheatstone sequence or number type (I believe they were not building Anglos in 1856 when it looks like this number was used ). and the number type is not Jones, nor is the fretwork. All in all its looks quite modern in build, not vintage, possibly 30's or 40's, even 50's. According to Geoffrey Crabb's dating sheet 9231 would be 1936, which is about right. Another indicator of more recent build is the round topped moulded plastic buttons in the vintage style and nothing like the erinoid buttons Lachenal used (I've changed lots of those for bone as i don't like the feel of erinoid). the nearest likeness i can think of is the plastic buttons used on May Fair Wheatstone's (and I'm 100% certain its not one of those). Lastly, if someone was having their concertina serviced or repaired by Crabb would they have paid out for a full set of new steel tongues in Aluminium shoes (which all seem to be about 1/4 tone sharp of the note stamped on the reed), surely it would have been more economical to change a few where necessary and retune the rest. So, The experts agree, I don't have a Crabb, and I'm certain its not Lachenal, Jones or Wheatstone (although perhaps the comments above may revise that opinion), and I don't believe it to be a Norman, Dipper, or any of the more recent makers, so what is it? A well made instrument of better quality than the norm (I've had lots of the cheap 20k vintage boxes and spent lots of time getting them playing again) which requires very little work to make it sing again. Another thought is that Crabb made an excess of components and at some time e.g. prewar, someone came to the shop wanting a cheap 20k instrument to take abroad with them. Having nothing in stock they put together very quickly a complete instrument and gave it the first number they knew was vacant. Thanks to everyone for their contributions. I'll put this debate/quandry to one side and try thinking of other possibilities. I think I'll take it to Halsway in March and let a few there have a look, unless someone wants to visit and examine sooner. Mike
  3. Thanks chaps for your knowledge and wisdom,. However, there is no metal label on this wooden ended concertina and no holes for rivets or screws nor any glue residue on the outer face of the fretwork, but, there is evidence of a paper label having been stuck behind the fretwork on the RHS. I suppose this could be a dealer or retailer stamp. It is definitely stamped on the reed pans, Crabb and Son, Maker, London. The number too is odd, it comes from an unused sequence according to Geoffrey Crabb's dating lists, and would be far earlier than the fitted Aluminium shoed reeds this one has. I have emailed Geoffrey about this. MIke, if you wish you are welcome to come to my place, or I could come to yours for a more in-depth examination if you so desire. Mike, Did I see you at Thaxted yesterday? I was about to dance and thought I saw you in the crowd up at the Windmill, but couldn't find you when we finished. MIke
  4. I recently purchased a Crabb 20k C/G Anglo at auction. it comes without any external labels for the Maker or the ID number, although it is stamped inside Crabb and Son, Makers, London and ID numbers in the usual places. I need a couple of things 1. Does anyone know what typeface was used to print the numbers on their paper labels (or the nearest equivalent on a PC)? 2. Does anyone have a picture, .jpg or similar of the paper label that would go in the vacant cartouche on the right hand side? I would appreciate answers to both questions. I can copy the labels off my metal ended instrument if they are the same. Otherwise it is in excellent shape, but in need of tuning. Many Thanks, Mike
  5. In your dating document you request owners to get in touch if they have a Concertina where you have listed the ID number in Red as having not been used. This week I purchased a 20 button Concertina at auction that that mimiced a Lachenal, but when I opened it up had the stamp "Crabb and Son, Makers, London" on the bottom of the reed pans. The number appears to be 9231 stamped on Bellows frame, top and bottom of the action box and between the chambers of the reed pan. It came with steel reeds in Aluminium shoes and five fold leather bellows. The woodwork appears to be all mahogany veneered ply on the ends and the buttons are plastic, the action is rivetted and the pads and valves (mostly brown) are in generally good condition. My other Crabb instrument (18225, 40K anglo) also has aluminium reed shoes and I associate the use of Aluminium with post war (39-45) manufacture but the ID number is apparently from an earlier period so I'm thinking there is some discrepancy here. I am wondering if it has been refurbished at some time before You ceased trading. I can provide photographs if you would like to see the Crabb stamp and numbers Several of the numbers are in places hard to decipher as the ink has run. Regards Mike Jones
  6. Hi Paul, My 1960's Crabb is totally unadorned black and I like it that way. I much prefer originality over enhancements. Mike
  7. Hello folks I need to re-tongue some broken reeds that are at of the small size, e.g A5 to E6. Jake at Wolverton Conceetinas sold me some tongue steel a year or so ago that was .53mm or 20thou (imperial) thick which was fine for the larger reeds but is really too thick for small reeds The ends of the tongues I have recovered measure .20cm or 8thou. Anyone able to help? I only need enough for 6 or so reeds. I have tried clock spring material and several other types of steel but none of them work very well. Thanks Mike
  8. I seem to remember reading some time ago that often the mechanism of the Rochelle transmits a buzz due to the proximity of the levers and not due to any problem with the reeds. I've been searching for the information/article but am unable to find it as my Rochelle exhibits this unwanted phenomenon. Can someone supply the link or even the answer? Many thanks Mike
  9. I have one sitting around taking up space. Ill send you a personal message. Mike
  10. In 1982 I joined Eynsham Morris. Dave Townsend and Ken Sheffield were both musicians for Eynsham then (amongst others) and I was so impressed by their sound, dexterity and abilities I wished to emulate them. Thinking 48 buttons was too many to manage and knowing nothing, I bought a Hohner Anglo (long gone). I have never emulated them but I do enjoy playing and am now branching out and trying to learn Crane Duet. I have tried English concertinas, but found the thumb grip too painful and the left/right nature too confusing. I do possess concertinas of all types now and lend them to people I know who wish to learn. I'm probably one of the obsessives as I have in excess of 30 instruments, most in playing order.
  11. Hi Cohen, SqueezEast members have used the following company in WIsbech to make bespoke flight cases for their concertinas, including double cases and others for EC Bases. Might be worth a phone call. https://5star-cases.com/ Mike
  12. The nearest typeface I can find is Lisong Pro , the seriphs are more like Lachenals than most I looked at, but as Alex Holden points out the numbers are perfectly in line so don't look terribly authentic
  13. I have bought two sets of bellows from the same supplier over the last few years, one set fitted to an Anglo and the other to an English. I very much like the quality but they did take some time to break in and I think they suit the Anglo better, even so I'm very happy with them. The instructions for fitting were good too.
  14. I have a Lachenal 26K rosewood ended Anglo, Number 18878, where the ends are backed by red leather which I believe is original, as the matching number can still be read (faintly) on the left hand side. Its quite thin, less than 1mm and I was told by a friend of mine who was a bookbinder that the finish is like the red morocco he used to use but the finish is of a generally lower quality when compared to the best morocco leathers. In this example of a Lachenal the spacing pillars are indeed backed top and bottom by thin card shims, just as David says. I have too noticed the screw head protruding slightly but also that, possibly due to shrinkage and drying of the rosewood and compaction of the card, that the fretwork is slightly concave, which appears to account for the gap.
  15. Is anyone producing reproduction paper Wheatstone labels, the ones that are usually found in the lids of their boxes? I'm repairing/reinforcing an original Wheatstone box that came with my baritone anglo and the label it has is very worn (unreadable) and mostly missing. Failing that I shall have to ask Mr DIckinson. MIke
  16. Jillity, why not join the West Country Concertina Players? https://thewccp.org/. They can help with tuition and learning and also with sourcing a suitable instrument , even with hiring one so you have the opportunity to try different types Mike
  17. Thanks Doug, mine was 100 years old in April this year, it shows signs of being extensively used and only has 30 buttons, nevertheless I'm having fun getting used to its foibles. I don't have any photos yet. Yours is very handsome and adds to my knowledge of how many Wheatsone Baritones exist by 25%. I notice that yours has paired screws at the corners locating the metal ends whereas mine only has single screw in each corner like most Trebles i've seen.
  18. Thanks Ken, I was discarding the cheap concertinas from Germany from my enquiry precisely for the reason you give, my interest is in the better /best brands because many are still giving good service to many musicians and i find the subject interesting, I'm often looking at the website for "How Many Left" when it comes to classic cars. As you say, Dowright may be able to comment especially for Lachenal concertinas. From the figures he has released about the number of records he has, it would appear that the survival rate is about 0.8% but perhaps we can double that if we consider the numbers of instruments coming to light on auction sites and other places, that go unremarked. My own experience is that of those two dozen or so old instruments that I have purchased only one was too far gone to repair and so became a spares instrument, the remainder live again. but also as you say we really need to know the total of those remaining to give a realistic answer, but dealers, collectors and others may have some idea of those that may still be around e.g. in lofts, store rooms, etc. in addition to those we know of and those that are is use but whose existence have not been registered to anyone with an interest. I am aware of several Lachenal instruments belonging to friends and aquaintances that have not been recorded but are still in use. Perhaps also the subject will raise some additional interest in the preservation and use of our favourite instruments. Mike
  19. Has anyone on this forum done an analysis of the Wheatstone ledgers to estimate the numbers of Anglo (Not English) Baritone and Bass concertinas made by Wheatstone? After 9 years of my searching Chris Algar has found a Baritione for me (thanks Chris), so they must be quite rare. Thanks Mike
  20. Has anyone done any estimates on the survival rates of different makes of concertina? I've not been able to find any references so far. Are there a greater percentage of e.g. Concertinas made by Jefferies still around and being played than , say, Lachenal's or Jones?. Given the extensive research and data collection being done by Dowright it may be possible in the fullness of time to extrapolate from those results for Lachenal's. If anyone has come across any information please will you post the links or get in touch Thanks Mike
  21. Jim, my apologies, Little John noticed what i had failed to do. I read the wrong side of the scales the relative mass of the two types of Crane I cited are 2lbs and 3lbs not Kilos. Mike
  22. My 35b bone buttoned mahogany ended Crane (by Lachenal) has a mass of 2kg and measures 6.25 inches across the flats, the same dimensions as my 30b C/G Anglos and 48b English. My 48b Rosewood ended steel buttoned Crane (also Lachenal) has a mass of 3kg and measures 6.6 inches across the flats, the same dimensions as my G/D Anglos My 48b Rosewood ended bone buttoned Crane (another Lachenal) is slightly lighter (a few grams only) and the same measurement across the flats. As Daniel says, after a while you don't really notice the weight difference when swapping between systems or sizes. I find the 35b Crane slightly more limiting than the Anglos or 48B Cranes but can still play approx 90% of Morris tunes and most other tunes on it without a problem. I'm unable to comment on availability in the US but in the UK i've only seen single figure numbers of each size for sale in the past couple of years and certainly fewer 35K than 48K
  23. Hi Cohen, Pleased to help, best of luck with the project. Mike
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