Jump to content

Lachenal English Concertina Extended Treble From Harry Boyd


David Levine
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have a splendid Harry Boyd Lachenal English concertina, 56 buttons, in excellent condition. It does not look as if it has been played very much, but I could be wrong. It is on the small side. It is very bright, clear, and responsive. It comes in the original (tattered) square leather case. I am offering it at €1,900 (£1,650). I have been told that this is a very fair price for one of these instruments in excellent condition.



It belonged to a family in Rothbury, which is about 25 miles from Harry Boyd's shop in Newcastle. The concertina was purchased from Harry Boyd and it sat on a shelf, rarely played, for most of its life. Although the name "Harry Boyd" is not worked into the fretwork on the ends I have been assured by Mark Davies, Stephen Chambers, and other people more knowledgeable than I am, that this instrument is without question one that came from Harry Boyd's music shop.



I would be keeping it, since it is such a splendid player, but it has been years since I made the switch from English to Anglo. The thought of relearning the English concertina at this point is too confounding. I will post pictures at some point this weekend.



Greetings from the ever-mad Willie Clancy Week. Thank God it's just a week....


Edited by David Levine
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No pictures yet. But I thought I'd mention:

This is a full 56 button instrument on a concertina the size of a 48 button box. It is lovely to hold and to play. The workmanship inside is very fine, to accommodate the reeds and the action. It has the low action and slightly raised ends characteristic of a Boyd instrument from this period.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It has the low action and slightly raised ends characteristic of a Boyd instrument from this period.

They are also characteristic of any metal ended Lachenal New Models. There needs to be more than that to make the Boyd link IMHO.

 

By coincidence I recently renovated one belonging to a Rothbury resident, also 56 key treble, but it had been played a great deal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both Mark Davies and Stephen Chambers have handled many of these concertinas. Mark Davies said that there is no mistaking the raised ends, the low, smooth action, and the care taken in tuning the reeds. Boyd was specific in choosing which people at the Lachenal workshop would be doing the tuning and there is no mistaking the clear, bright sound of such reeds.

I will of course refund the purchase price if a buyer is dissatisfied with this instrument.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That would seem to suggest that every good Lachenal New Model was a Boyd, which seems unlikely. But I have much less experience of these instruments than your two advisors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard once that Boyd specified a slightly shallower reed pan, the concertina equivalent of raising the compression on a gas engine, to produce a little faster response. If so, it would seem to be a simple matter of measuring the depth of the reed pan.

 

Anyone else ever heard anything like that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard once that Boyd specified a slightly shallower reed pan, the concertina equivalent of raising the compression on a gas engine, to produce a little faster response. If so, it would seem to be a simple matter of measuring the depth of the reed pan.

 

Anyone else ever heard anything like that?

It is possible, of course... but I recall working on two Boyd Lachenals and if my memory serves me well they had Flat Reedpans ( not Canted or Graduated with the chamber walls being deeper for the low notes) but were not especially shallow. I recall having difficulty getting some of the reeds out to tune them , for two reasons; firstly ,as David says, the instruments were 56 keyed but were the same size as a 48... this makes the chambers narrower, and secondly the chamber walls were not as shallow as several similar period Flat Reedpan Wheatstones I had worked on.... but I could be wrong as it was a very long time ago.

 

The Wheatstone flat reedpan types from the turn of the century had chamber walls of 1/4 inch to the top of the chamois gasket,

Edited by Geoff Wooff
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard once that Boyd specified a slightly shallower reed pan, the concertina equivalent of raising the compression on a gas engine, to produce a little faster response. If so, it would seem to be a simple matter of measuring the depth of the reed pan.

 

Anyone else ever heard anything like that?

It is possible, of course... but I recall working on two Boyd Lachenals and if my memory serves me well they had Flat Reedpans ( not Canted or Graduated with the chamber walls being deeper for the low notes) but were not especially shallow. I recall having difficulty getting some of the reeds out to tune them , for two reasons; firstly ,as David says, the instruments were 56 keyed but were the same size as a 48... this makes the chambers narrower, and secondly the chamber walls were not as shallow as several similar period Flat Reedpan Wheatstones I had worked on.... but I could be wrong as it was a very long time ago.

 

The Wheatstone flat reedpan types from the turn of the century had chamber walls of 1/4 inch to the top of the chamois gasket,

 

What about bowing valves? Don't all Boyds -- by both Lachenal and Wheatstone -- have bowing valves? (I'm not an expert, but it's what I understand from many references here on concertina.net.) How many non-Boyds have them?

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...