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Greetings, A few years ago I was given this 34 button C/G anglo. It came with what looks to me like its original wooden box, minus the carrying handle and key. The instrument belonged to my great-great grandfather, who lived in east London sometime in the second half of the XIXth century. As you can see from the photos, instrument is in pretty good nick, considering no-one must have played it for many decades. It is pretty much in tune, although a couple of reeds buzz and the two buttons at the treble end of the right-hand side accidentals row don't produce any sound. Apart from that, the straps need replacing as the leather is very nearly worn through where they go through the brass loop at the end of the hand rest. As far as the layout goes, I haven't been able to find a layout that matches exactly. One feature that I have heard is a bit unusual is a low C drone button on the left hand I haven't opened the instrument yet, although I will once I have mustered up the courage. There are no markings of any kind that I can see on the outside, the metal facing on the right hand end has an oval window, but unlike other concertinas I have seen, there is no label in it. Does anybody know who the manufacturer could be?
Often I notice in pictures of vintage concertinas that oval openings are often designed into the fretwork. Sometimes these openings are empty and sometimes they are covered with a suspended paper label. I have always assumed that the empty ones were originaly covered with label when those instruments were new. I am curious about the history of these label openings in vintage concertinas and have a few questions about them: Were paper labels used in both wooden and metal ended concertinas? Where these labels primarily to display information about the manufacturer or were they also used for other purposes like information about resellers or distributers? I have a 1880's era Lachenal New Model with a paper label in such an area (as shown). While it looks old I have seen comments in this forum regarding fabricating replacement labels leading to a few more questions: Were the original labels standardized and/or did they evolve over the years (possibly providing collaboarative dating of instruments)? Is there a consensus about how many original labels still exist and how may to be seen are reproductions?