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Lachenal Duet Made Around 1896

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The dusty object which has sat on my piano for the last twenty years turns out to be a Lachenal (MacCann) duet concertina. It is number 1192, which dates it around 1896. So, an interesting instrument, and quite an old one...it is in need of an overhaul to restore it to playable condition. I know that I will not play it myself, so will try to sell it. Does anyone have any thoughts about whether it would be worth my while restoring it before I try to sell? And any ideas about where to get this restoration done?

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Auction prices of restored vs unrestored instruments suggest that, unless you are a highly respected dealer or concertina restorer with a reputation for commissioning sensitive and appropriate restorations, you get better value by selling unrestored.

 

It would be interesting to know what yours is in more detail. How many keys has it got, and what is the lowest note on each side, is usually the key info.

 

Most Maccann duets lying around are 46 key (or smaller), and these usually don't make very much money unless they are rather rare high quality ones. There is a fair traffic in them so they usually sell on ebay at reasonably appropriate prices (though avoid quiet periods like summer hols). The rare ones aside, in restored condition they mostly fetch £500-£800 when sold at auction, and a good £300 or so of that is in the restoration.

 

Larger ones (ie more keys) are mostly quite a bit more valuable. However the traffic in the market is very slow, not many of a given type are bought or sold in a year, and finding a buyer willing to pay a sensible price for them usually takes a bit more time and effort than putting it on ebay - can take several months for a deal to form. It may be worth advertising it here, or attempting to negotiate with a reputable dealer.

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Ivan, many thanks for your thoughts. My concertina is, indeed, a 46 key one. The left hand seems to have a lowest note of C (below middle), and the right, G (above middle).

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Thanks, Maki. I will. One of my Morris dancing colleagues also mentioned Dave Elliott.

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