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Wheatstone 12 Button on eBay!


Ptarmigan
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Interesting looking little chap this ..... Approx 12cm in length! :blink:

 

Number 35401, dated 30th June 1942 in the ledger, and one of a batch of nine model M19 made around that time. In fact one of the last instruments made before wartime restrictions brought a virtual end to production of anything that wasn't "for the war effort".

 

I wonder who the "musical comedian from the late 1940s until the early 90s" was, in fact who the buyers of all of them were at that perilous time... :huh:

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Oh dear, I'm going to show my ignorance for all to see, but is this an English or Anglo system instrument - the ledger doesn't seem to indicate (I'm guessing "English" from the one other I've seen on eBay!)? - hides head in bag!:(

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... is this an English or Anglo system instrument - the ledger doesn't seem to indicate (I'm guessing "English" from the one other I've seen on eBay!)?

 

Miniatures are almost always English system (like this one), though the first one I ever had was a duet and the second an Anglo (I think it may well have been the same one that Noel Hill has now). :huh:

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Number 35401, dated 30th June 1942 in the ledger, and one of a batch of nine model M19 made around that time. In fact one of the last instruments made before wartime restrictions brought a virtual end to production of anything that wasn't "for the war effort".

 

I have a Crane duet (35429) from October 12, 1942. There are very few with later dates in 1942 (I found two in December, then a break until July 1943) and a lot of them in these pages of the ledgers seem to be Crane duets.

 

Any idea who was buying concertinas in 1942?

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I have a Crane duet (35429) from October 12, 1942. There are very few with later dates in 1942 (I found two in December, then a break until July 1943) and a lot of them in these pages of the ledgers seem to be Crane duets.

 

Any idea who was buying concertinas in 1942?

 

Quite likely the Salvation Army were, especially when you see the Judd Street address of their shop in connection with many later 1940s purchases...

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I bought a 12 Button Mini Wheatstone just like this a few years ago. It is a delightful piece of work, and always attracts attention! It has a compass just a little over one octave, and is by far the loudest concertina I own! The trick is finding tunes that will fit within its range. Also, because of its small cross-sectional area, the bellows "travel" is surprisingly large. Takes a bit of getting used to. This one presently on ebay seems to have an original box in great shape - mine was a bit battered. Since it has no thumb straps, you have to get used to holding it by pinching between thumb and pinky, which can get tiring after a bit. The funniest thing was having to overcome the urge to place the left end on my knee as I do with my tenor-treble! It don't work that way! :)

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I wonder who the "musical comedian from the late 1940s until the early 90s" was, in fact who the buyers of all of them were at that perilous time... :huh:

 

 

Well, wonder no more Stephen. After a bit of detective work, I have discovered that the "musical comedian" who originally purchased and owned this concertina was a variety performer whose stage name was Syd Marx. He was not terribly well known outside of the business and his act consisted of stand-up gags and a variety of musical instruments including the concertina, a saw, the post horn, trumpet, garden hose, etc. etc. He performed Summer Seasons around the UK coastal resorts, including Butlins Holiday camps, and cabaret. He began performing on leaving the Army after the war and retired in the mid-90s. :)

 

Chris

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Good luck with your bidding Fernando,

 

Geoff.

 

Thanks Geoff!

 

I bought a 12 Button Mini Wheatstone just like this a few years ago. It is a delightful piece of work, and always attracts attention! It has a compass just a little over one octave, and is by far the loudest concertina I own! The trick is finding tunes that will fit within its range. Also, because of its small cross-sectional area, the bellows "travel" is surprisingly large. Takes a bit of getting used to. This one presently on ebay seems to have an original box in great shape - mine was a bit battered. Since it has no thumb straps, you have to get used to holding it by pinching between thumb and pinky, which can get tiring after a bit. The funniest thing was having to overcome the urge to place the left end on my knee as I do with my tenor-treble! It don't work that way! :)

 

Thanks Ron! I liked what you wrote in here, I would love to have one of this concertinas. I cannot wait to play one of these, for sure I would have to look for a suitable tune, and I'm sure I would have to change the octave in the middle of the tune. Maybe Scottish pipes tunes can be played, as these bagpipes have only one octave.

 

I saw videos in youtube with a person I think is a member of this forum, Goran:

 

 

 

With what looks like an exactly identical one! with added straps for the thumbs

 

But I've just bid now (thepineplanter), and I've been outbid straight away! It is the first time I bid in Ebay, I'm not sure if I'm going to continue... I don't think because I didn't make enough research on this. More than 500 euro for this is an unknown territory for me for this type of concertina. I suppose I had better wait till I get to know more about this...

 

But I'm still learning about this matters thanks to this forum, which is a very nice thing! :rolleyes:

 

Fernando

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The trick is finding tunes that will fit within its range.

 

Maybe Scottish pipes tunes can be played, as these bagpipes have only one octave.

 

You remind me of my 8-key, 2" miniature that "Miss Linda Martell, the comedy girl with her concertinas" used to play "Scottish airs" on before the Second World War - well there's not much else that fits on it... :huh:

 

Searching a little you will notice that hundreds of popular tunes and themes have a compass of just one octave or even less so with some transposing and minor adjustments you may collect an extensive repertoire.Whether someone cares to listen is another story. Concertina miniatures do not deserve being regarded as toys however - they are perfectly built, just smaller, you may compare with a piccolo flute.

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Concertina miniatures do not deserve being regarded as toys however - they are perfectly built, just smaller, you may compare with a piccolo flute.

 

Here's my comparison:

 

A piccolo flute is small because it needs to be in order to play at the desired pitch to serve (normally) musical purposes.

 

A miniature concertina is small only because it's a "novelty", and the smallness is at the expense of musicality (something that the concertina does not have a particularly good reputation for).

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Concertina miniatures do not deserve being regarded as toys however - they are perfectly built, just smaller, you may compare with a piccolo flute.

 

Here's my comparison:

A piccolo flute is small because it needs to be in order to play at the desired pitch to serve (normally) musical purposes.

 

??..."Normally musical purposes"...do you mean symphonic parts or what? Agree that the miniature concertinas seem not to have served such purposes normally even in the old concertina bands but nothing really ought to have hindered that.

In theory a piccolo flute has the same 3 octave compass as a common flute but an octave higher. You hardly ever use the lowest octave and the rest comes roughly in the same range as the most common 12 key concertina. If you pick 16-20 key mini concertinas the range may be even more alike.

 

A miniature concertina is small only because it's a "novelty", and the smallness is at the expense of musicality (something that the concertina does not have a particularly good reputation for).

 

I cannot quite agree.Playing the same notes ( in the same octave) with a miniature concertina or with a larger one sounds the same.

The "musicality" thus is equal so far.

For many "purposes" the miniature offers much better tonal control and speed and in that sense no "musicality" is lost but some is gained.

With less effort it produces much louder sound and can for certain purposes - just like the piccolo flute - be more penetrating in an ensamble than lower range models.(It is usually louder in the high range than other concertinas).

 

Certainly our concertinas (rightly..!?) do not have a particularly good reputation in symphonic environment but that is a another story is it not?

So - what is the problem with miniature concertinas? The market price seems to reveal a considerable estimation...

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