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Pete Dunk

Something Doesn't Look Quite Right

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I don't think this concertina is a Wheatstone. Look at the screw spacing on the finger slides, the elongated slots in the thumb straps and the wheat-sheaf shaped posts on the levers. Jones?

 

Interesting that there is a facsimile label, an early one too!

 

I'm not suggesting anything untoward, just a possible misidentification.

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The fretwork matches that on my baritone (which doesn't help a lot, since, while a baritone with the same serial number 2037 appears in the Wheatstone ledgers, there isn't a label on the baritone saying who made it). Both the treble in question and my baritone have nickel silver reeds. The baritone also has hand cut square ended reed shoes. It does not have the riveted action of the treble in question. My best guess is that the baritone is a Wheatstone from before 1850 on which much further work was done in 1856 before it was sold second hand and more done since. Mine had also had the baffles removed. I had Wim Wakker restore the baritone to have them.

 

The thumb straps are certainly replacements so I wouldn't make any judgment based on the shape of the holes. The screw spacing on the finger rest looks like it matches that on my Wheatstone treble from 1851. As I recall part of the restoration on the baritone involved moving the finger rests and perhaps replacing them, so I'm not sure that placement of the screws on the finger rests is definitive either--- they may be later replacements.

 

I'll follow with interest what those more knowledgeable on early examples have to say.

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The fretwork is basically a clone of that used by Wheatstone's, except for the cartouches for the name and number which are more like those on a Joseph Scates, 32, New Bond Street, London, #247 that I have - so I'd say it was "from his atelier" (either by Scates, or his associates/outworkers)...

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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I can help here, it's me selling the instrument. It is very definitely a Wheatstone, number 568, from 1842 (when the fretwork was cut by hand, before the design was simplified so that a spindle could be used). I posted some pictures of the internals on here a while back when I was trying to find out what it was. The reason that it has a faux label is simply that the label is normally attached to the baffle plate, and at some point - probably when it was previously restored by RJ Ward early in the 20th C. the baffles were removed, presumably to make it louder (the nickel silver reeds are quieter even than brass). It now has new baffle plates, but the cartouche looked stupid filled with blank pine, so I put a faux label in simply to make it look right. The label fitted is lifted from a photo on the web and not intended to fool anyone.

 

The first time I listed it on Ebay (it didn't sell) I got into conversation about it with Neil Wayne, and he was in no doubt that it is a genuine early Wheatstone. (Though he did point out a few features, like the bellows papers, which I thought were original, but infact date from the RJ Ward restoration.

 

If anyone wants more pictures, Email me - I have a full set of all the internals before during and after restoration (and I also have the original pads, springs and valves if the buyer wants them!)

 

This instrument has square ended reed frames and slots, which is a sure sign that it is early Wheatstone. Wheatstones had worked out how to machine round ended pan slots before anyone else started making concertinas, and as far as I am aware no one else ever used the hand cut square ended slots and frames.

Edited by Skreech

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the cartouche looked stupid filled with blank pine, so I put a faux label in simply to make it look right. The label fitted is lifted from a photo on the web and not intended to fool anyone.

 

Hello Skreech, I wasn't suggesting any skulduggery at all, far from it, the ebay description makes it perfectly clear that the label is a cosmetic addition. My interest is in the label photo you lifted from the web and whether it might be a useful addition to the resources on Concertina.net.

 

I hope my post didn't cause any offence and I did try to make it clear that I thought this might simply be a case of misidentification. Good luck with the auction.

 

Pete.

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Hi

Wheatstones were not the only maker to use square reeds. My own Joseph Scates (226) 28 Westmoreland Street Dublin 1851 has square reed frames as does Joseph Scates (19) 32 New Bond Street. I believe Chidley and Case have also used Square Reed frames.

chris

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It is very definitely a Wheatstone, number 568, from 1842 ...

I'm afraid the cartouches on a Wheatstone of that period are significantly different, especially the one on the left, for the serial number:

 

Left-End-with-Label-No-23-on-Out-1.jpg Right-End-1.jpg

 

... when the fretwork was cut by hand, before the design was simplified so that a spindle could be used ...

It sounds like your almost quoting my own article back at me, like it's something I wouldn't know. :huh:

 

The first time I listed it on Ebay ... I got into conversation about it with Neil Wayne, and he was in no doubt that it is a genuine early Wheatstone. (Though he did point out a few features, like the bellows papers, which I thought were original, but infact date from the RJ Ward restoration.

I'm afraid he's wrong :rolleyes: and, for that matter, I believe the instrument was most likely sold new by RJ Ward (probably as a result of Scates having been in Liverpool) not restored by them. If you're going to put a label into it, I'd suggest it ought to be an RJ Ward one - which makes it more interesting, not less...

 

This instrument has square ended reed frames and slots, which is a sure sign that it is early Wheatstone. Wheatstones had worked out how to machine round ended pan slots before anyone else started making concertinas ...

It was Louis Lachenal who started machining the slots (when he started mass-producing instruments for Wheatstone's), and they're round-ended because that's what a router bit does (whilst a chisel makes square slots) - but that was 4 years after Scates left Wheatstone's (where he had been a reed maker) and started manufacturing under his own name.

 

... as far as I am aware no one else ever used the hand cut square ended slots and frames.

Everybody else (in the mid-19th century) used the hand cut square ended slots and frames.

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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