Jump to content

Tortoise shell Aeola on eBay


SteveS
 Share

Recommended Posts

Strange that the vendor has the date wrong.. he says it is 1935 when the ledgers give it as 1927. I like 1927 it was a fine year,I have had several Aeolas made at that time. This one looks very nice.. now what were those tests for Real Tortoise Shell ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The price seems rather optimistic, even if all the seller says is true.

 

"A leading authority on concertinas recently commented that in his opinion it was possibly the most beautiful sounding concertina he has ever heard."

 

I'm very curious as to who this "authority" is. If he's a member here, will he come forward? I do very much like the sound of each and every "tortoise shell" concertina I've had the opportunity to play and/or hear (a baritone, a piccolo, and three trebles -- all Englishes -- that specifically come to mind at the moment), but tastes may differ.

 

"The ends are made from solid tortoise shell."

 

While there may still be some debate as to whether it could be real tortoise shell or "just" artificial, it seems unlikely that it's solid, rather than veneer on wood, and it certainly looks like it's the standard veneered construction.

 

"A CITES* export licence is required to export this instrument outside of the EU. This takes about 15 days and costs £40. As the instrument was made before 1948 the license procedure is a formality."

 

Assuming it's genuine tortoise shell, the above may indeed be true, but it may also be only part of the story. It's likely that a separate license is necessary for importing it into another, non-EU country. CITES doesn't issue the licenses; they are granted by agencies of various national governments, whose laws don't necessarily exactly mirror the CITES rules.

 

Mind you, I expect that it's a superb instrument and one that I would love to own, but has any English concertina yet been sold for such a high price?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know the instrument quite well, as I missed it by a few days, when it was sold in London some 30 years ago by a friend... Mind you, 1.000 Sterling was a hell of a lot of money then...

 

The same seller tried to sell Alf Edward's golden Aeola for 20.000$ a while ago ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Vendor is saying he bought it in 1974. Conzertino says "some 30 years ago". There was a huge difference between the value of the Pound Sterling between 1974 and 1982 in terms of wages and buying power.

 

In 1974 I bought my first 1927 Aeola,a fully restored Tennor Treble, from Harry Crabb for £150. At the time I recall having a quite well paid employment which would not have amounted to £2,000 per year.Two years after this my same job was paying more than £3,000... I lost touch with English wage values after this, having moved to Australia, but I recall selling the Tennor Treble in 1984 for about £1,000.

 

So, whilst a thousand pounds was a huge sum in '74 it would have been a fair and reasonable price for a rare beast in 1982.

 

It will be interesting to see what anyone is willing to pay today .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"In 1974 I purchased this instrument for £1000 from an internationally renowned concertina historian and collector. Consulting a number of economic indices to determine today's value, I have arrived at the figure of £13,950.00."

 

Such calculations are unlikely to produce a realistic estimate of today's valuation for antique or rare items - some things come into fashion, others go out of fashion, and can do so in a very big way. Though, for what its worth, general RPI inflation from 1974 to today is a factor of nearer 8 than 14, though since 1974 was a period of rapid inflation, it probably matters exactly which month in 1974 it was sold in.

 

There is no doubt that this concertina would sell, if the market was allowed to operate. If he was serious about finding the true market value for it, he should just put it on with a £1 starting bid. There is no doubt a vigorous auction would ensue. As it is, his tactics of high starting price and very high buy-it-now look more like those of a certain dealer whose offerings repeatedly failed to sell. But maybe to get a good price for it he needs serious bidders to physically see this concertina, and advertising it with very high prices on ebay is a way of getting knowledge of it into the market, to be followed by a later serious auction.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking at all this from the point of view of the value of " the best instruments of their type" or those instruments used by Proffesional musicians in the persuit of their employment, one might suggest that the asking price for this concertina is not beyond reason.

 

The BBC's 'Young Musician of the Year' programme , a week or so back, had some very talented players of the Marimba, parents talking about having to buy one so their children could practice at home.. so I thought "how much is one of those?", and the answer is more than our ebayer is asking for his concertina.

 

However, as most of us in the concertina world are very much amateur musicians who are not at all used to paying big amounts for our instruments I doubt anyone will offer anywhere near the price without trying it first.

 

I for one would love to test drive it... and I would trim my nails and wash my hands first!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regarding Tortoise Shell ends:

 

By the description the vendor gives, a Tortoise shell instrument has a tone somewhere between a wooden and a metal end. What I would be looking for then is the way that it performs duing staccato passages. I notice that wooden ends give a very dry finnish to notes so that a staccato run really sounds nice and clipped . The metal ends impart a slight ringing-on of notes and far more care has to be taken with staccato phrases to avoid a mushy legato-ish effect.

 

If the Tortoise shell models are giving a nice clear tone but cut the notes neatly at the ends then perhaps they would make the ultimate soloists instrument.

 

Any thoughts on this from people who have actually played one ?

Edited by Geoff Wooff
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like 1927 it was a fine year,I have had several Aeolas made at that time. This one looks very nice.. now what were those tests for Real Tortoise Shell ?

 

 

Me too, Geoff. I also own a lovely metal-ended Aeola TT from 1927. Top period! BTW, the vendor is one Tony Green, a friend of Stephen Chambers, who bought the Alf Edward's concertina with the gold-coloured bellows from him, a few years ago and then tried to sell it on Ebay for £10,000. I think he must have bought this tortoise shell one from Neil Wayne, by the sound of it.

 

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Neil Wayne NEVER re-sells instruments that are conserved and protected from "Restoration" in the Concertina Museum -(might do a swap for an 1830s Open Pallet Wheatstone though!)

 

 

Don't forget that the seller says he bought it in 1974; that's more than thirty years ago, long before Neil started his current concertina collection - he sold his first collection to the Horniman Museum. On second thoughts, as Tony is a friend of Stephen Chambers, another well-known collector and historian, he is more than likely to have purchased it from Stephen. I bought my Aeola TT from Stephen!

 

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sold for £8950 - anyone on Cnet buy it?

 

 

 

From the PM responses that I got to my question above regarding these Tortoise shell Aeolas I only hope that who ever it was that bought this one actually knew the instrument, or had made a visit to try it first!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the description the vendor gives, a Tortoise shell instrument has a tone somewhere between a wooden and a metal end.

Not quite the way I would describe it. From my own experience, I would say that it's definitely more "wooden", but just as instruments with amboyna ends have a tone quality different from those with ebony (or "ebony") ends, so do tortoise shell (or "tortoise shell") instruments have their own characteristic tone. I'd say that it's much like amboyna, yet "richer".

 

What I would be looking for then is the way that it performs during staccato passages. I notice that wooden ends give a very dry finish to notes so that a staccato run really sounds nice and clipped . The metal ends impart a slight ringing-on of notes and far more care has to be taken with staccato phrases to avoid a mushy legato-ish effect.

I don't detect a difference of that type between ebony and TS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...