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Chris Drinkwater

Prices of English Concertinas - are they going up?

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Recently, two Wheatstone model 21's have been sold on Ebay. One fetched £1750, unrestored but appeared to be in excellent condition; the other fetched £2060, restored. The serial numbers date them to having been made in the late 1920's. The model 21 is Wheatstone's most basic metal-ended 48 key treble concertina, with nickel-plated ends, silver keys and 5-fold bellows. It cost £12 15s new in 1929. These prices seem quite high to me when I consider that I bought a lovely top-of-the-range 1928 Lachenal metal-ended 48 key treble Edeophone complete with original leather case, just two years ago for £1900, from a respected dealer. What does that make a top-of-the-range 48 key treble Aeola worth now? Did they fetch these prices because two desperate would-be concertina player/enthusiasts were prepared to outbid the competition? Any thoughts?

 

Chris

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Recently, two Wheatstone model 21's have been sold on Ebay. One fetched £1750, unrestored but appeared to be in excellent condition; the other fetched £2060, restored. The serial numbers date them to having been made in the late 1920's. The model 21 is Wheatstone's most basic metal-ended 48 key treble concertina, with nickel-plated ends, silver keys and 5-fold bellows. It cost £12 15s new in 1929. These prices seem quite high to me when I consider that I bought a lovely top-of-the-range 1928 Lachenal metal-ended 48 key treble Edeophone complete with original leather case, just two years ago for £1900, from a respected dealer. What does that make a top-of-the-range 48 key treble Aeola worth now? Did they fetch these prices because two desperate would-be concertina player/enthusiasts were prepared to outbid the competition? Any thoughts?

 

Chris

Is this not simply the old argument that any item is worth what another person is prepared to pay for it, and that a bargain is always very much the result of luck and good fortune ?

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I'm not monitoring prices particularly closely at the moment because I'm not in the marketplace for an up/crossgrade, but I get the feeling that EC prices are always going up. There was a bit of a suggestion on c.net this time last year that prices were stagnating due to the credit crunch, but that seems to have been a short-term thing.

 

I am sort-of tracking the prices of Morse baritones, as I want One Of Those as soon as we've paid for the new combi boiler (and the kitchen alterations and the French windows and the rewiring and ... and ...), and they're currently rocketing from my point of view due to the poor US/UK exchange rate. I think I'll be making do with the baritone settuing on the Englitina for a while yet!

 

But are EC prices rising considerably faster than the general rate of inflation though? Even a 1% rise in the price of a decent EC in a year is a noticeable wodge of money. I hate the idea of playable instruments as museum pieces, but could a well looked after vintage EC ever be regarded as an investment at the same time as it gets a full and happy life as a working instrument?

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Although there is a credit crunch, because the euro and dollar are so strong compared to the pound, one can still charge a bomb for instruments and sell them to those outside the UK, for whom they are a bargain compared to the earlier price. For this reason, I don't think prices will go down or stay the same in the UK.

 

Ian

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Ian, you might want to consider putting your foreign exchange concerns into perspective when considering your concertina plans. Yes, the pound is down from an abnormally high exchange rate of about $2.00 to the pound, but the British pound is still up more than 15% against the dollar over the last 13 years. Make no mistake, the dollar is still seriously down against virtually all the major world currencies with little hope of major recovery. Your cost of buying a Morse are probably as good now as they'll ever be -- current situation considered.

 

Good luck and good squeezing.

 

Ross Schlabach

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Recently, two Wheatstone model 21's have been sold on Ebay. One fetched £1750, unrestored but appeared to be in excellent condition; the other fetched £2060, restored. The serial numbers date them to having been made in the late 1920's....

......What does that make a top-of-the-range 48 key treble Aeola worth now? ....

 

Chris

Also on Ebay last month, 2 top-of the-range concertinas for more realistic prices:

Restored extended treble Edeophone, c.1900: £1650 http://cgi.ebay.co.u...em=250544053931

Æola treble, 1921, "good, original working order": $3206 (£1982) http://cgi.ebay.co.u...em=140365557384

 

For comparison: In May 2008 I bought my restored wooden ended extended treble Æola (1926) from the respected dealer for £ 2500.

(Of course the dealer price is somewhat higher than Ebay prices.)

 

Leonard

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Recently, two Wheatstone model 21's have been sold on Ebay. One fetched £1750, unrestored but appeared to be in excellent condition; the other fetched £2060, restored. The serial numbers date them to having been made in the late 1920's....

......What does that make a top-of-the-range 48 key treble Aeola worth now? ....

 

Chris

Also on Ebay last month, 2 top-of the-range concertinas for more realistic prices:

Restored extended treble Edeophone, c.1900: £1650 http://cgi.ebay.co.u...em=250544053931

Æola treble, 1921, "good, original working order": $3206 (£1982) http://cgi.ebay.co.u...em=140365557384

 

For comparison: In May 2008 I bought my restored wooden ended extended treble Æola (1926) from the respected dealer for £ 2500.

(Of course the dealer price is somewhat higher than Ebay prices.)

 

Leonard

 

 

Yes, I saw both those two concertinas for sale at the time and thought that they fetched very reasonable prices. In the case of the Edeophone, perhaps people are put off by a treble that is extended upwards; extra weight for notes they probably won't use much, which is why it only received 2 bids. Again, it's down to how much someone looking for a decent traditional concertina, is willing and able to pay. The £2500 you paid for your Æola, Leonard, sounds quite reasonable and what I would have expected. And if you look after it, it should retain it's value, unlike some modern hybrids. And still a lot less, than what you would have to pay for a newly made traditional concertina from someone like Colin Dipper, and without the wait! Thank goodness EC's are not as popular, currently, as Anglos!!

 

Chris

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