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Wanted: Quality Miniature


Greg Jowaisas
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Wanted to buy: Wheatstone or Crabb Miniature

 

I'm looking for a quality vintage miniature.

I'd prefer more than 12 buttons.

Any system acceptable.

 

I'd like a good playing inststrument but...

I would consider taking on a project if the

price was appropriate.

 

Thank you for your help.

 

Greg

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Jim,

 

So I can practice, practice, practice!

 

Until recently I was not aware that miniatures were made in other systems than english. Last summer Noel Hill used a miniature anglo in concert (Proving it is technique not size, guys!) and a recent Ebay miniature was a duet.

 

I play some english and have been working very hard on anglo the past year.

I feel I might have a fair chance wrestling with a McCaan system with 18 or less

buttons.

 

To seriously answer your question, I am not averse to the picollo sound and much of my performing is done for school assemblies. I believe including a miniature in the performance would not only delight my young audiences but cultivate some interest in concertinas.

 

Regards, Greg

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I feel I might have a fair chance wrestling with a McCaan system with 18 or less buttons.

Once you get down to that few buttons on a duet, you'll be missing enough notes that it probably won't be appropriate to call it Maccann. More likely it'll resemble Wheatstone's pre-Maccann duet design. Not that that will matter for your purposes.

 

But you should also consider the Stagi miniature, an 18-button English mentioned in this topic. My friend Henrik loves his. Though he recommended against it as a starter instrument for children on grounds of both design and quality control, I think your experience could overcome the first and a bit of technical skill could take care of the second. Most likely it will also be much cheaper than a Crabb or Wheatstone miniature.

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Greg:

On topic.... I have an 18 note Wheatstone Aeola Miniature which I use in School Concerts. I start out with a Jew's harp, work my way through a Sheng and Harmonica, and end up with a Jeffries Duet. If the students ask for more at that point, I play them a little concertina piece on my little concertina. They seem to really enjoy hearing chopsticks on the mini. Good luck! Ed

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Ed.

 

Sounds like a "free reed for all" good time!

 

Are your school concerts a full or part time (a)vocation?

 

Back on topic: Keep me in mind if you run into another 18b Aeola! Just what i am looking for!

 

BTW what is the layout?

 

Regards, Greg

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Greg:

I've a feeling that 18 button Aeolas as rarer than hen's teeth. I went through the entire (published) Wheatstone Leger and found only one (# 32150). I'd love to know if others exist.

The Scale runs frim G' to C''' with the associated chromatics. 8 Fold Bellows and english spacing without the thumb or finger holds. A really neat instrument and cute - only 3 inches across the flats.

The School Shows are presently an avocation for me, as I'm really a geology prof. However, I hope to delve deeper into childrens theatre over the next little while, so who's to say..... Best - Ed.

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I have an 18  note Wheatstone Aeola Miniature...

Ed, what's the size of your miniature? The ledger doesn't say.

 

My 1950's Wheatstone catalog list models

... M1 -- 2-3/4", hexagonal, 12 buttons, diatonic G scale from G above middle C

and

... M2 -- 3-1/8", Aeola, 18 buttons, chromatic from G above middle C

It only pictures the hexagonal one, though.

 

I haven't yet been through the entire ledger, but of the ledger entries with sizes (most say "Miniature" without giving a size) the smallest I've seen is 2" (8 buttons) and then 3½", 4", 4½". Then there are a number at 5", with many more buttons. So I wonder at what size we should stop considering them "miniatures".

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Jim:

It is a 3 1/8 miniature aeola - the one that is not pictured in the brochure. I'll try to get some pictures up this afternoon.

As for what constitutes a miniature - I left it to Wheatstone in my scan of the legers. If they called it a mini, that was enough for me. My guess is the break-off point comes when there is enough room for finger straps.

BEst - Ed

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    I've a feeling that 18 button Aeolas as rarer than hen's teeth.  I went through the entire (published) Wheatstone Leger and found only one  (# 32150).  I'd love to know if others exist.

They do exist, so Greg can hold out some hope, though the majority were made during Wheatsone's later years.

 

On the same ledger page as your own, Ed, is #32156, a 22-button, 3½", 8-sided, nickel-plated instrument. I'd say the size qualifies it as a miniature, even if the notation doesn't call it that. In counting, I've set my criteria as 1) anything less than 4" in size, 2) anything that says "miniature" (or some obvious variation, like "min"), or 3) anything with fewer than 20 buttons. I made one exception to the latter, a 16-button contrabass which, at 18" in size, can hardly qualify as a miniature. :) I did include one instrument at 4", both because it is 18 buttons and because it says "miniature", though I excluded a 4" Æola with 26 buttons. I also included two 17-button duets at 4½", though I excluded others of the same size because they had more than 20 buttons. With that caveat, here are some results.:

 

1st ledger: 79 minis

... 10 anglo, 7 duet, 55 English, 7 unspecified, of which 1 "special" (8 buttons and "square", but maybe not a mini?)

... 8 w/ <12 buttons; 57 w/ 12 buttons; 13 w/ 14-16 buttons; 1 unspecified

 

2nd ledger: 117 minis

... 6 anglo, 16 duet, 56 English, 39 unspecified, of which 26 "Special"

... 31 w/ <12 buttons; 40 w/ 12 buttons; 3 w/ 16-17 buttons; 3 w/ 18-22 buttons; 40 unspecified

 

3rd ledger: 166 minis

... 0 anglo, 2 duet, 99 English, 65 unspecified

... 105 w/ 12 buttons; 9 w/ 13-16 buttons; 48 w/ 18-19 buttons; 4 unspecified

 

4th ledger (anglo-only): no miniatures listed

 

TOTAL: 362 minis:

... 16 anglo, 25 duet, 210 English, 111 unspecified, of which 27 "special"

... 39 w/ <12 buttons; 202 w/ 12 buttons; 25 w/ 13-17 buttons; 51 w/ 18-22 buttons; 45 unspecified

 

In particular, all 45 of the 18-button insruments in the 3rd ledger are octagonal. (Many of them are simply designated "M2", but that's the model listed in the Wheatstone catalog as an 18-button, octagonal, "Aeola".)

 

362 miniatures, give or take a few, and that's only Wheatstone's production since 1910. I wonder how many still exist.

 

This quick look through leads me to a few speculations, one of which I'll mention here: In the 2nd ledger there are 25 minis with only 5 buttons, apparently made all at once, and no notation as to what kind. There is only one 5-button instrument in the 1st ledger, but it has a notation "E to G". A very limited range? No. Chromatically E to G is 4 notes, not 5, but 5-buttons is just right for a one-key anglo running from E just over an octave to the 2nd G. This is an adequate range for an anglo, while 5 buttons on an English or duet would be very limited, even if diatonic. So I speculate that there are at least 26 more miniature anglos out there than what I've counted above (and thus 26 fewer of unknown type).

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Thanks for the research and analysis, Jim!

 

Randy Merris has compiled some similar data.

 

I do have a lead on a 12 button but the more I learn the more I'd prefer a 14b or more instrument.

 

Hope springs eternal. If anyone has or knows of a 14b or more vintage miniature please contact me through this forum. (I will make a donation to cnet. if I make a buy)

 

Thanks to those who have responded thus far.

 

Greg

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Jim:

I'm impressed. Either you have too much time on your hands (ie. no wife and/or children) or you have found a professional calling. It took me hours to plow through the first leger, and I never even made it to the third. Have you run a complete analysis on the legers? I've thought about it, but haven't had the time due to other commitments (ie. the aforementioned wife and children). Cheers - Ed

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Have you run a complete analysis on the legers?

Far from it. I have looked at every page (except in the Day Book), but only while skimming for particular items. I figured there were few enough miniatures that I could copy out the relevant details in a couple of hours, which I did. Then I used some personal tricks to compile the things I reported.

 

Some day I hope to get around to the full contents, but that's gonna be a lot more work! Don't expect any reports for at least a year. :)

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  • 5 months later...

I have an 18 button wheatstone aeola no 36515 nickel plated ends, concert pitch in perfect condition for sale. If interested let me know. tornirsk@onetel.com

 

 

Thanks for the research and analysis, Jim!

 

Randy Merris has compiled some similar data.

 

I do have a lead on a 12 button but the more I learn the more I'd prefer a 14b or more instrument.

 

Hope springs eternal.  If anyone has or knows of a 14b or more vintage miniature please contact me through this forum.  (I will make a donation to cnet. if I make a buy)

 

Thanks to those who have responded thus far.

 

Greg

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  • 3 weeks later...

I wanted to thank everyone who has helped in my quest for a 18b miniature.

Tornirsk and I were able to arrange my purchase of his 18 button. I enjoyed working with him.

 

Although I would still welcome the opportunity to buy a miniature anglo there are others who are seeking an 18 button miniature english. Please contact Musical Priest, who is a member of this forum, if you have such an instrument for sale.

 

Regards,

 

Greg

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