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What do you look for when you buy a concertina?


Randy Stein
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Some time back I came upon an old Wheatstone baritone concertina. The bellows were worn and shot, buttons were stuck and several missing, and the sound was pretty bad. The ebony veneer was badly chipped and the left hand strap was missing. I figured it would take at least a couple grand or more (US$) to whip back into playing condition and passed up on it. Recently the gentleman who showed it to me told be he had it shellacked and mounted and made into a lamp. While I was taken aback I am not so sure I did not make a wrong choice knowing the condition of the instrument. I did not look up the serial # to see if there was a provenance to the it, but at what point to do say it just needs to be laid to rest. What do you look for in a concertina and how much are you willing to invest?

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Edited by Randy Stein
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Some time back I came upon an old Wheatstone baritone concertina. The bellows were worn and shot, buttons were stuck and several missing, and the sound was pretty bad. The ebony veneer was badly chipped and the left hand strap was missing. I figured it would take at least a couple grand or more (US$) to whip back into playing condition and passed up on it. Recently the gentleman who showed it to me told be he had it shellacked and mounted and made into a lamp. While I was taken aback I am not so sure I did not make a wrong choice knowing the condition of the instrument. I did not look up the serial # to see if there was a provenance to the it, but at what point to do say it just needs to be laid to rest. What do you look for in a concertina and how much are you willing to invest?

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Go back and ask him for the reeds!!!!!

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Some time back I came upon an old Wheatstone baritone concertina. The bellows were worn and shot, buttons were stuck and several missing, and the sound was pretty bad. The ebony veneer was badly chipped and the left hand strap was missing. I figured it would take at least a couple grand or more (US$) to whip back into playing condition and passed up on it. Recently the gentleman who showed it to me told be he had it shellacked and mounted and made into a lamp. While I was taken aback I am not so sure I did not make a wrong choice knowing the condition of the instrument. I did not look up the serial # to see if there was a provenance to the it, but at what point to do say it just needs to be laid to rest. What do you look for in a concertina and how much are you willing to invest?

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Hard to believe it would ever be worth more as a table lamp is the bottom line for me. Does the clot want to sell the table lamp?

 

I suppose your answer is in my experience almost anything concertina can be mended, and if it can't be mended is worth something for parts; not just reeds, there's a Wheatstone rivetted action there for starters. On the other hand you weren't to know he was going to take this extreme step when you refused it; it's just rather sad, isn't it?

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Some time back I came upon an old Wheatstone baritone concertina. The bellows were worn and shot, buttons were stuck and several missing, and the sound was pretty bad. The ebony veneer was badly chipped and the left hand strap was missing. I figured it would take at least a couple grand or more (US$) to whip back into playing condition and passed up on it. Recently the gentleman who showed it to me told be he had it shellacked and mounted and made into a lamp. While I was taken aback I am not so sure I did not make a wrong choice knowing the condition of the instrument. I did not look up the serial # to see if there was a provenance to the it, but at what point to do say it just needs to be laid to rest. What do you look for in a concertina and how much are you willing to invest?

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Having no restorative skills and being a player rather than a tinkerer, I look for a dealer I trust. I look for a dealer who knows what I want and what instruments are suited to me, and makes professional recommendations. Chris Algar and Paul Groff both did that for me, and I've been completely satisfied with the results. Neither was cheap, but both were exactly what i wanted.

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