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Concertinas At Auction - Gardiner Houlgate


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Gardiner Houlgate, the well-known West Country auctioneers, are holding a sale on Thursday 13th March, of miscellaneous musical instruments, including several concertinas, Here is the link to the catalogue page with the concertinas. The concertinas appear lower down on the catalogue page.

 

http://gardinerhoulgate.co.uk/Catalogues/mi130314/page004.html

 

Of the 8 concertinas for sale there are two concertinas for sale whose maker's names I have not come across before. One is a metal-ended anglo stamped R Carr, maker, complete with a rather worn hexagonal leather case,

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Drinkwater
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some details on R.Carr here http://www.lvcott.fsnet.co.uk/others.htm#Carr

 

and "...I have handled a number of concertinas labelled R Carr.They are usually very substantial and thus weighty.As well as suggestions that R Carr was a moonlighting Jeffries employee Crabb's may have made concertinas which bear that name...." from http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=2999

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That large rosewood ended Wheatstone (appears to be a bass) is in one hell of state.

 

Internal (because bellows is separated) photo shows no valves, so it's single action. But then what's that big rectangle that looks like an air valve opening? Is it possible that this concertina has one massive internal air valve rather than the usual "gills" in the bellows? If so, that would make it quite unusual, no? Maybe even an early example of single-action technology, before the invention of "gills"?

 

But in spite of the parted bellows, the internals (including reeds) look clean and in good nick.

 

Another odd thing is that I don't see enough screw holes to indicate that it ever had thumb straps or finger plates, yet the strange strap I can see certainly looks like a makeshift later addition. And how in the world did the player hold it?

 

Steve, I don't see any maker's name in the description. How do you know it's a Wheatstone?

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That large rosewood ended Wheatstone (appears to be a bass) is in one hell of state.

 

Internal (because bellows is separated) photo shows no valves, so it's single action. But then what's that big rectangle that looks like an air valve opening? Is it possible that this concertina has one massive internal air valve rather than the usual "gills" in the bellows? If so, that would make it quite unusual, no? Maybe even an early example of single-action technology, before the invention of "gills"?

 

But in spite of the parted bellows, the internals (including reeds) look clean and in good nick.

 

Another odd thing is that I don't see enough screw holes to indicate that it ever had thumb straps or finger plates, yet the strange strap I can see certainly looks like a makeshift later addition. And how in the world did the player hold it?

 

Steve, I don't see any maker's name in the description. How do you know it's a Wheatstone?

 

Jim - my apologies, I don't - I have somehow made a mental link between this and the Wheatstone in the auction.

 

Don't look at auction sites late at night -_-

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Jim,

 

I think is more likely a single action Baritone, simply because I don't see the chambers/pipes I would associate with bass instruments.

 

Even then, barry reeds are often surface mounted due to their size, again I am not seeing this.

 

If you magnify up, the images you just about make out finger slide & T-strap screw holes

 

Dave

Edited by d.elliott
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Jim,

 

I think is more likely a single action Baritone...

I'm not the one who said "bass", though I think it might be. If the red buttons are C's (by the way, I think the photo of the end is reversed), then it appears that the lowest note is a C, which would make it either a bass or a tenor-treble, not a baritone. Also, the ratio between the width of the button array and the width of the ends (between the flats to either side of the buttons) is similar to that on my own squashed-hexagon Lachenal G-bass. (The ratio is very different on my baritone-treble and my C-bass, which are both Aeolas and so not "squashed".) Similarly with the ratio of longest to shortest distance across the ends. But I don't know how different they would be on a squashed tenor, nor even whether those ratios were relatively constant from one instrument or maker to another.

 

...simply because I don't see the chambers/pipes I would associate with bass instruments.

Wouldn't they be on the same side of the reed pan as the chamber partitions? Besides, I only associate them with the clarionet variants, not ordinary basses. Neither my C-bass nor my G-bass has pipes, nor any "stacked" chambers, either. The chambers are all simply separated by walls on the reed pan.

 

Even then, barry reeds are often surface mounted due to their size, again I am not seeing this.

In my Aeola, only the lowest reed frames are surface mounted (screwed down); most of them are slotted in. Could that be the case here? The reeds we're seeing in the "interior" photo aren't the lowest ones, though the thickness at their tips suggest to me a generally low range.

 

Interesting, though, is that all the reed frames all have squared ends. In mine, only the surface mounted ones have squared ends; the slotted ones have rounded ends. Could that be significant in guessing either the age or the maker?

 

If you magnify up, the images you just about make out finger slide & T-strap screw holes

I can only see one hole for each. It does look like the existing strap could be using/hiding a second hole for the finger plate, but normal is three holes for the finger plate and definitely three for a thumb loop. Where are the other holes?

 

One more thing, though, that I consider an oddity: The location of the button array and of where the thumb strap and finger plate should be are not nearly as close to the "high" end as on other bass concertinas I've seen. In my playing experience, that would make for less favorable balance. Possibly another indication of an early attempt at making a bass instrument? Or an indication that it's really a tenor and not a bass? I don't know. :unsure:

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Bass - that was me - I just assumed that being squashed ends it would be a bass - but then looking again at it, it could be a baritone, especially given the size of the smaller reeds compared to the larger.

 

I was also intrigued by the square-ended reed frames and the slotted mounting - seems to indicate an early instrument.

 

Also, I've seen that style of fretwork pattern before, but can't recall the maker.

 

I must confess to having an interest, since I bought this instrument as a resto project. So I'll let you know what it is when it arrives.

 

 

Edit: having done some research as to a likely maker, based on the fretwork it looks like it might be an early Rock Chidley.

Edited by SteveS
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Haven't the foggiest about the concertina, but a comment about expected prices: I don't know if they are pounds or Euros, but either way they are interesting. estimated 400-600 whatevers for the concertina being discussed here in falling apart condition and 50-100 for any number of brass instruments of rather low quality, but probably playable. Hmmmm.

OK, so the prices are GBP. Even more interesting....

Edited by cboody
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I must confess to having an interest, since I bought this instrument as a resto project. So I'll let you know what it is when it arrives.

 

I'll hold off on any thoughts/comments until you report back Steve. Look forward to it

 

Geoffrey

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Had a quick look at this 'tina.

It looks like the following: single action baritone, silver reeds?, dates of 1850 & 1869 inside, most likely Rock Chidley (from fretwork pattern and lever posts), serial number 1552

I'll have a more thorough look at it as soon as I get time, and will post pictures.

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