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Wheatstone Duet Concertina 1911


JERRY G
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Hi,

 

I am new to this website and have little experience of concertinas. A relative of mine has inherited a black gilt 8 sided Wheatstone duet concertina with 66 keys. It was originally owned by her husband's father who purchased it in 1911 and, as far as we know, was the sole player/owner. It is in very good condition but with a shabby case. My relative has owned this concertina for some time now but has become anxious that it is not being played and is now thinking about selling it.

 

I am seeking general advice on the approximate market value of this concertina. Obviously nobody can be specific without viewing it but any general advice would be most welcome.

 

On another point, are there many female concertina players around? This concertina seems very heavy. How easily could it be played by an adult female? Could any adaptations be made to it to make it more player friendly?

 

Any advice on the above would be most appreciated.

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On another point, are there many female concertina players around? This concertina seems very heavy. How easily could it be played by an adult female? Could any adaptations be made to it to make it more player friendly?

 

Any advice on the above would be most appreciated.

Pam Bishop plays a large MacCann duet concertina and has had thumbstraps (similar to those on an English concertina) fitted to her instrument in addition to the handstraps for that reason - to help with supporting the weight of the thing.

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A relative of mine has inherited a black gilt 8 sided Wheatstone duet concertina with 66 keys.

Duets are hard to value at the moment, with some recent eBay auctions bringing noticeably less than expected and others bringing more. I can point you to a couple of examples, though. There is currently on eBay a 70-button Æola duet (Æola is Wheatstone's deluxe model), with a $1000 reserve and as yet no bids. Also The Button Box has a 62-button Æola duet listed at $2800. So we should watch to see what price the eBay instrument eventually brings and how quickly the Button Box instrument sells. A 64-button Edeophone (Lachenal's deluxe model) duet recently went for $1825 on eBay. These are all duets with the Maccann fingering system. A 55-button Crane-system Wheatstone duet recently went for $2610 on eBay. Smaller, non-deluxe duets have sold for much less. Condition can definitely be a factor, but the market for duets is limited enough that a final price could well depend on who is looking to buy in any given week.

 

It was originally owned by her husband's father who purchased it in 1911 ...
Do you have the instrument's serial number? It should be stamped into a little metal plate on the left hand side. That can be checked against the Wheatstone company ledgers for more details.

 

Obviously nobody can be specific without viewing it...
Where are you located?

 

On another point, are there many female concertina players around?
Oh, yes.

 

This concertina seems very heavy. How easily could it be played by an adult female?
Depends on the individual... male or female. But many who play the larger duets -- and even many who play smaller concertinas -- play while sitting, with at least one end supported by a leg.
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...a black gilt 8 sided Wheatstone duet concertina with 66 keys.

Is that 66 buttons plus an air button? For reasons unknown, Wheatstone included the air button in the count of "keys" on duets, but not on Englishes or anglos. I find one "67 key" duet in the Wheatstone ledgers, 1910-1911; it's serial no. 25308. But it says "nickel", meaning the ends, and it says nothing about "gilt". Are the metal ends gilded, or is there gilt decoration on the bellows? If it's the ends, that might have been done at a later date.

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Hi Jerry,

 

The Horniman Museum has a web site with Wheatstone ledgers that will describe your friend's concertina. The instrument should have a 5 digit serial # on one side for identification.

 

The serial # or a picture would help the comments of the members of this forum.

 

Condition of the instrument can be a significant factor in determining its value. But from your description of 8 sides and the approximate date of 1911 I'd venture that your friend has a quality instrument from one of the best production periods.

 

I was delayed in putting up this post and I think Jim Lucas has asked or answered most of the above in the meantime.

 

As Jim indicated there seems to be a "readjustment" of the duet market value right now.

 

Keep us informed.

 

Regards, Greg

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