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Dating Jeffries by their ends?


Ptarmigan
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Looking at old threads here, I'm just wondering what the latest thinking is on the dating of Jeffries by the fretwork?

 

For example, I know from the receipt that the 38k in the photo below was sold by C Jeffries on the 26th of June 1899, but is the 30k older or younger?

 

The 45k has that older fretwork, but no address marked on it anywhere, so could it still be a 1920s brothers product, from Aldershot Rd. ... or?

 

Cheers

Dick

 

3xjeffries.jpg

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I think the 45b once was (or still is) a Jeffries Duet?

It seems that every time a many-button Jeffries comes up, whether anglo or Jeffries duet, someone suggests that it must have started life as the other. Some even mention that their reason for this conclusion is that the button layout is the same as for the "other" instruments they've seen.

 

But I've never seen a 45-button (e.g.) Jeffries anglo with a button arrangement (number of rows, buttons per row, slant of columns, etc.) at all different from that of a 45-button Jeffries duet, nor vice versa. I'm certain that for any given number of buttons, Jeffries made one version of the ends (perhaps varying in features other than button placement, such as flat vs. raised) and maybe even of the action :unsure:, and then put under it different sets of reeds for either duet or anglo (and with some custom note placement on anglos, since there was no "standard" for that many buttons).

 

The jeffries duets I have seen are newer and they all had raised ends.

Marien, what about mine?

You've tried it.

It looks identical to the 45-button anglo in the photo. :)

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The jeffries duets I have seen are newer and they all had raised ends.

Marien, what about mine?

You've tried it.

It looks identical to the 45-button anglo in the photo. :)

 

Hi Jim,

 

I must be that someone ... still having to admit I am a Jeffries novice...

 

I remember your jeffries system duet very well.

and the Crane duet even better.

What I remember best is whether they play fine and less of the fretwork.

 

Are you going to take them along to Sweden in spring?

 

Cheers,

Marien

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Dick,

 

I think the 45b once was (or still is) a Jeffries Duet?

The jeffries duets I have seen are newer and they all had raised ends.

I am not sure that having flat or raised ends tells us something about the age.

 

Marien

Well Marien, according to Wes Williams, the Duets had a 7/6/7/6 pattern, whereas this one looks like it may be simply an extended Anglo pattern i.e. 5/6/7/5. It certainly has an extended Anglo pattern today.

 

From his photos too, it would appear that this instrument was probably made at Aldershot Road.

 

Cheers

Dick

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Just for interest.

 

H Crabb 45 button Anglo - March 1910.

 

 

 

Looks familiar.

 

(No Idea why the missing piece of fretwork)

 

Geoff

 

Well Geoff, clearly that instrument was not made at Aldershot Road & yet it has the same or similar fret pattern, so the answers are not as simple as black & white.

 

Cheers

Dick

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I'm certain that for any given number of buttons, Jeffries made one version of the ends (perhaps varying in features other than button placement, such as flat vs. raised) and maybe even of the action :unsure:, and then put under it different sets of reeds for either duet or anglo (and with some custom note placement on anglos, since there was no "standard" for that many buttons).

 

Well that seems to make pretty good sense Jim. Covering their options for the least expense.

 

Cheers

Dick

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I think the 45b once was (or still is) a Jeffries Duet?

...according to Wes Williams, the Duets had a 7/6/7/6 pattern, whereas this one looks like it may be simply an extended Anglo pattern i.e. 5/6/7/5. It certainly has an extended Anglo pattern today.

Wes' article is almost 10 years old, and a lot has been learned since then, but in this case I don't think that matters. A fuller quote of Wes' comment is:

5. These instruments have many keys (40+), suggesting a later Jeffries period. I had thought they were not Duet conversions, as Duets seemed to have a row configuration of 7/6/7/6 buttons on the right hand side, whereas these seem to have an extended anglo layout. The left hands have only a few extra buttons on the back row, again in an extended anglo pattern compared to a 38 key. However Brian Hayden has confirmed that this button layout would be typical of a smaller Jeffries duet.

The emphasis is mine.

 

I believe the 7/6/7/6 right-hand pattern is for a 50-button instrument. My own 45-button Jeffries duet has that 5/6/7/5 pattern in the right hand and 5/6/6/4 plus a thumb button in the left. This diagram, for a 44-button Jeffries duet has a 3-button row in the left hand where mine has a 4-button row. Unfortunately, the links on concertina.com to the late Nick Robertshaw's pages no longer work; I believe they included a layout for a 50-button Jeffries duet.

 

From his photos too, it would appear that this instrument was probably made at Aldershot Road.

On my instrument the oval just says "C. Jeffries Maker", and it has no address stamped on it, neither in the oval nor around the edge. (Interestingly enough, my Jeffries-made Crane duet has the Aldershot Road address stamped around the edge, but the Praed St. address engraved in the oval.)

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My own 45-button Jeffries duet has that 5/6/7/5 pattern in the right hand and 5/6/6/4 plus a thumb button in the left.

 

Yes Jim, mine too.

 

On my instrument the oval just says "C. Jeffries Maker", and it has no address stamped on it, neither in the oval nor around the edge.

 

Yes Jim, mine too.

So it looks like these two instruments may well be stable mates.

I've posted a photo below, that shows the design on my 1899 Jeffries with the 45 button Jeffries on the right.

I wonder, did these designs change much over the years, to help us date them?

 

By the way Jim, my 45 button has Green Bellows.

 

Cheers

Dick

 

2jeffs.jpg

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For a number of years now I have been studying the Jeffries family and trying to make sense of the age of individual instruments.

 

The question here is utilizing the end plates to determine age. This way is probably the easiest (?) and most common way without opening up or receipts giving other means of possible dating.

 

Taking Dicks 3 instruments the bone button and the 38k are what I would term the Crabb (a) design. The larger 45k design (B) probably came into being round about the 23 Praed st., period say c1890-2.

 

So I would put the bone button as the oldest followed by the 38 key even though Dick had a receipt to prove when it was bought in 1899 it did not say it was new.

 

Who actually designed the (B) design flat or raised is unknown, but I suspect Charles jnr. had something to do with it.

 

Now my theory (and I could be wrong) is that all these end plates where out sourced, therefore after a certain time say when 23 Praed St came into being both Crabb and Jeffries used the same supplier(s). They then added their own ident. Just like Jeffries did with the Crabbs supplied to them between 1880-1890. All that Jeffries did was to stamp ‘C.Jeffries Maker’ between the buttons.

 

The instruments supplied by Crabbs in the 1880,s whole instruments were made to order, but when they started making their own from scratch they would have ordered in bulk eg endplates, receipt books etc.so therefore you would have carry over stock ie William Kimber inst. From 1909 still bore the C.Jeffries 23 Praed St etc 3 years after Charles snr had died. Or was it Charles jnr?? Or had it been in stock since before 1906? Was it second hand, all very tantalizing.

 

Another example is the 1922 receipt signed by Thomas with 23 Praed St address. And I think some even later, these books must have lasted a long time.

 

The oval with ‘C Jeffries Maker’ I also think originated in this period before 23 Praed St. got going. In the back of my mind I sometimes ask myself the question which ‘C. Jeffries’ was this; father or son??? This is because I think Charles jnr had much more of an influence on the family business than we think. Possibly before his father retired.

 

Some of the plates I have inspected from the ‘Jeffries Bros’ seem to have been chrome plated and today seem to have tarnished, although others are still the nickel type.

 

Another of my theories is that the two older brothers were the only ones involved in ‘Jeffries Bros’. In 1911 the 2 younger brothers were in the drinks trade. The elder brothers were still instrument makers and Charles jnr was a ‘Working Partner’. So again I theorise that the Jeffries Bros dated from 1908 - 1917

 

In 1910 Charles was the tenant at 23 the owner being a Mrs Grace. His sister was living there in 1911, but in 1912 her husband died so I suspect she moved out.

 

We know that both Charles jnr and William made individual instruments probably while still working for the family. Though the few instruments that William made seem to be stamped ‘38 Craven Park’ he moved there in about 1905.

 

By the end of WW1 Charles was the only brother putting his name to instruments whether it be repairing/modifying/dealing in older instruments or making very few new instruments.

 

About 2 years ago I bought a raised end duet for Charles jnr granddaughter made by him inscribed C.Jeffries Maker & Inventor 16 Aldershot Rd Kilburn NW6 which indicates a post WW1 instrument.

 

Best regards

 

Dave

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By the way Jim, my 45 button has Green Bellows.

Alas, the bellows on mine are clearly not original (and plain black).

 

It also needs quite a bit of other work before it will be truly playable.

I'm very much hoping that I can get that done this year.

Even in it's current condition I've enjoyed playing with the layout.

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So I would put the bone button as the oldest followed by the 38 key even though Dick had a receipt to prove when it was bought in 1899 it did not say it was new.

Best regards

 

Dave

 

Hi Dave,

 

Regarding the receipt for my 38k Jeffries, it doesn't actually say whether it was new or not, but it does point out that it cost Albert 7 Guineas & on that date 26th June 1899 he paid 2 Guineas as a deposit.

 

I wonder if anyone has any idea if 7 Guineas was the selling price for a new Jeffries Concertina back then.

 

Perhaps the Crabb records would give us an idea?

 

Cheers

Dick

Edited by Ptarmigan
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I notice that the Button Box 45 button Jeffries is described as a C Jeffries, no doubt because like mine, that is what is stamped into the cartouche.

 

Now the end plates are more or less identical to mine, but Geoff pointed out that Crabb above, which had those same ends & which was dated 1910, so we know that those ends were being made at least as early as 1910. However, that was I believe 4 years after C. Jeffries senior died, so if this was the earliest they were made like that, could the ends have been produced before Charles senior died or were these more likely to have been stamped by Charles Junior?

 

Or were these ends in fact being used by C Jeffries senior, much earlier than 1910?

 

Well, at least they do have this instrument in the Anglo section, not the Duet section. ;)

 

Cheers,

Dick

Edited by Ptarmigan
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Or were these ends in fact being used by C Jeffries senior, much earlier than 1910?

 

I think we can safely assume that :rolleyes:

 

Ah Peter, but can we really? Or were you just being sarcastic? :unsure:

 

After all, I'm thinking of some of the points Dave Lee made above, like:

 

"From 1909 still bore the C.Jeffries 23 Praed St etc 3 years after Charles snr had died. Or was it Charles jnr?? Or had it been in stock since before 1906? Was it second hand, all very tantalizing."

 

&

 

"The oval with ‘C Jeffries Maker’ I also think originated in this period before 23 Praed St. got going. In the back of my mind I sometimes ask myself the question which ‘C. Jeffries’ was this; father or son??? This is because I think Charles jnr had much more of an influence on the family business than we think. Possibly before his father retired."

 

So, I wonder, is it really safe to assume that all instruments that are marked with C Jeffries Maker, but have no address stamp, were made before 1906?

 

Cheers

Dick

Edited by Ptarmigan
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I notice that a certain Steve has commented on this Bb/F Jeffries on eBay page, that he reckons that because this Jeffries has the C Jeffries Maker & 23 Praed St. London stamp:

 

".... this concertina would have been made between 1891 and 1908."

 

That being the case, why oh why did they stamp some with an address during that period & others not? :unsure:

 

Also, thinking of the green leather on my own 45k, how common was the likes of the maroon leather on that eBay instrument?

 

Cheers

Dick

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