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1936 Wheatstone Aeola Shell FOR SALE


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What a beauty!!

 

 

............. It is Tenor-Treble with leather bellows. 4 octaves from Tenor C to C. .........

 

Are you sure about this?

 

The ledgers say it's a model 18. That is an extended treble, 4 octaves from G to top violin G.

 

The position of the buttons in relation to the thumb strap suggests the same; see Geoffrey Crabb's wonderful explanation "Understanding English System Concertina Keyboard Layouts"

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What a beauty!!

 

 

............. It is Tenor-Treble with leather bellows. 4 octaves from Tenor C to C. .........

 

Are you sure about this?

 

The ledgers say it's a model 18. That is an extended treble, 4 octaves from G to top violin G.

 

The position of the buttons in relation to the thumb strap suggests the same; see Geoffrey Crabb's wonderful explanation "Understanding English System Concertina Keyboard Layouts"

 

Leonard has a good point (and beat me to the post!)

 

Here is the link to the Horniman archives where #34135 is identified as a model 18.

 

http://www.horniman.info/DKNSARC/SD02/PAGES/D2P1760S.HTM

 

Here is the link to concertina.com which has a price list from 1935:

 

http://www.concertina.com/pricelists/wheatstone-english/Wh-Pricelist-Eng-c1935.pdf

 

This is certainly still a desirable instrument but the difference between a tenor treble and an extended treble can make a difference to a prospective buyer both in expectations and price.

 

Greg

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Perhaps it need not be said, but I will, just in case.

Given the material, the location of the instrument relative to that of a prospective buyer can simplify or complicate matters appreciably.

Now there's an understatement!

Tortoiseshell comes from sea turtles, which are endangered species. If the sale crosses national boundaries, then written permission is needed from the appropriate agencies of the countries of both the seller and the buyer; otherwise the instrument could be impounded and destroyed. (In at least some countries, the appropriate agency is not Customs... and finding out who it is can be difficult.) And note that if you manage to get it pasts the authorities without the proper paperwork, you're not home free. They could discover your infraction some years down the road and lower the boom at that time. No guarantee that they will, but also no guarantee that they won't. And it could be that similar laws apply even for a sale within a single country.

 

Good luck on the sale, though. In my experience, tortoiseshell instruments have a very special sound, as well as having been given absolutely the best attention when they were built. If there are no legal difficulties, I suspect the "best offer" will be well over $4400, even though it's not a tenor-treble.

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Tortoiseshell comes from sea turtles, which are endangered species. If the sale crosses national boundaries, then written permission is needed from the appropriate agencies of the countries of both the seller and the buyer; otherwise the instrument could be impounded and destroyed. (In at least some countries, the appropriate agency is not Customs... and finding out who it is can be difficult.) And note that if you manage to get it pasts the authorities without the proper paperwork, you're not home free. They could discover your infraction some years down the road and lower the boom at that time. No guarantee that they will, but also no guarantee that they won't. And it could be that similar laws apply even for a sale within a single country.

 

Good luck on the sale, though. In my experience, tortoiseshell instruments have a very special sound, as well as having been given absolutely the best attention when they were built. If there are no legal difficulties, I suspect the "best offer" will be well over $4400, even though it's not a tenor-treble.

I own a Wheatstone "shell" tenor-treble (from the same period, and looks nearly like this one) that I had refurbed by Wim Wakker a year or so ago. His opinion was mine (and likely most of) these are not real tortoise shell, perhaps made of horn or some such. In fact, almost every time I see one of these beauties, someone suggests it's probably not real tortoise shell. Yet the Wheatstone ledgers refer to these boxes as "shell". Of course there are minimally destructive tests that antique dealers use to identify authentic tortoise shell, but who wants to burn a pin-hole in their favorite concertina?!? In any case, these are top-of-the-line instruments. Any opinions - real tortoise shell or Victorian switcheroo?

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who wants to burn a pin-hole in their favorite concertina?!?

Why not on the back side of the fretwork?

 

Good idea but no way to access the "shell".

 

The "shell" is a thin veneer on wood. the wood itself is often a 3 or 5 ply cross grained veneer.

 

Maybe you could pop the label and test where the label would cover it up once the experiment was over.

 

Greg

Edited by Greg Jowaisas
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I own a Wheatstone "shell" tenor-treble (from the same period, and looks nearly like this one) that I had refurbed by Wim Wakker a year or so ago. His opinion was mine (and likely most of) these are not real tortoise shell, perhaps made of horn or some such. In fact, almost every time I see one of these beauties, someone suggests it's probably not real tortoise shell. Yet the Wheatstone ledgers refer to these boxes as "shell". Of course there are minimally destructive tests that antique dealers use to identify authentic tortoise shell, but who wants to burn a pin-hole in their favorite concertina?!? In any case, these are top-of-the-line instruments. Any opinions - real tortoise shell or Victorian switcheroo?

Over the years I have seen various non-concertina items made of imitation tortoise shell, and others made of the real thing. The texturing of the coloration has always seemed to me to be simpler and less subtle in the artificial "shell". Of the five "tortoise shell" concertinas I've been privileged to examine personally, I'm sure that at least four (and probably all five) were real tortoise shell. One of those was repaired by someone I knew who was an expert in such matters, and he assured me that it was the real stuff, behaving as only real tortoise shell does in a critical temperature range.

 

As for the suggestion that horn may have been used as a substitute, I would wonder what animal such "horn" is supposed to have come from. Color aside, I've never seen horn (or hooves, or other similar materials) with that kind of textured patterning, whether from cows, sheep, deer, etc. Meanwhile, during the years in which these instruments were made, real tortoise shell was (relatively) easy to obtain. I will admit, though, that expert craftsmen can sometimes be quite ingenious. Is anyone in this forum an expert in such matters?

 

But unless someone has actually demonstrated through appropriate testing that the "shell" on a particular instrument was not authentic, I think it's reasonable -- and important, considering the laws and potential consequences -- to assume that it is authentic.

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