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SteveS

What's happening to concertina prices?

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Just found out that a Lachenal Edeophone 48 key (looks like a baritone) has just sold at auction for £680 (plus premium).

 

John Nixon's baritone sold for £820 the other day.

 

Both top-quality concertinas, which a year ago would have sold for £2000+ and possibly much more.

 

Where are concertina prices going?

 

Is this indicative of a new trend?

Edited by SteveS

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Just found out that a Lachenal Edeophone 48 key (looks like a baritone) has just sold at auction for £680 (plus premium).

 

 

I had a look at that one prior to the auction, lots of work needed, even so still a cheap price, but not comparable with an instrument in playing order.

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Steve, I think there are a number of factors playing into these recent low prices. Generally speaking, the economic situation is undoubtedly having an impact with monetary crises in Greece, Spain, Italy and the like. Of course the US isn't much better if at all. Then there's the instruments themselves and the sales venues. Judging from the pictures, the Baritone? edeophone did not look well cared for and the dirt and such on the bellows would suggest possible problems there too. Consider also that there has been a larger than usual volume of English concertinas on eBay recently and there's a possibility that the English concertina market might be temporarily overloaded with excess supply -- depressing prices. Of course, Baritones are less sought after than trebles. Then there's the venues. These private auction galleries are somewhat obscure and local in nature and don't or won't do the necessary marketing to raise awareness on upcoming auctions. If any/some/or all of these factors in play, then the prices realized will be depressed.

 

As to John Nixon's concertina, it would only bring a better price if the provenance is worth something to buyers. IMHO, collectors are the only potential buyers to whom provenance is of much interest and collectors are not a big part of our concertina world except maybe when it comes to certain Jeffries, Wheatstone anglos and other rare models. Provenance is far less important to a playing musician than the playing quality and tone of the instrument itself.

 

Since even on eBay the prices English models have been bringing of late are lower, it's my suggestion that the world & especially European economic situation is having some effect on the market and possibly the demand for English models is reduced. And anglo prices have even shown some signs of softness with the Irish economic crisis undoubtedly playing a part on this segment of the market.

 

It will be interesting to see if prices for English models regain their footing or not. I've thought that over the past couple of years some anglo prices have gone up outrageously and outpaced the ability of most players to afford them. That could result in more fine concertinas either lounging in dealers' inventory or ending up exclusively in collections instead of the hands of players -- a shame indeed.

 

Ross Schlabach

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Phil, I would not get too concerned about the quiet on this auction since most action occurs in the last few minutes/seconds. What would concern me are the ends. Admitedly, I am no expert on Lachenal concertinas but those metal ends look questionable and may be replacements or might have been media blasted or otherwise altered. Do we have any experts on these Edeophones who can shed some light on this instrument?

 

If these ends are genuine, then my suggestion would be to limit one's maximum bid to what you feel the instrument is worth to you. Then you can't get burned unless there are some hidden problems with the instrument -- which would be the case regardless of what you paid.

 

Ross Schlabach

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Concern has been expressed about the ends; I'm thinking of bidding very low indeed, as if I were buying a new entry-level box. The current price is below even that level. (If the ends are replacements, how would that affect playing the instrument?)

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Phil, it might not affect the playability, it could affect the sound; but it would definitely affect the value. I'm surprised our forum's experts haven't stepped up with some useful information. They may come through for you yet.

 

Ross Schlabach

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