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Gaspar

Hi! A New Beginner With A Lachenal English Concertina

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Hi everyone! I´m a new member of this great Forum. I felt in love with concertinas after hearing Jon Boden a couple months ago. Since then I have been trying different concertinas.

I think I have settle down in the English System. I had an Anglo Rochelle and I just didn´t feel comfortable with the diatonic feature. The size of the Rochelle was also a problem for me.

Now I have two EC. One is an old Bastari and the other one is a Louis Lachenal.

Would you help me date this Lachenal? From what I have learned online 1865 is my best guess.

The serial number is 14.228.

Here are the pics:

 

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Thank you so much!

cheers from Argentina :)

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Hello Gaspar,

 

welcome to concertina.net which is a community as helpful as gentle as you will find out yourself...

 

I guess I'm one of the closest as to the type of concertina played, since I am the lucky and happy owner of a Lachenal Excelsior EC which belongs to the same series in which yours might be called "Inimitable", maybe just in later times (mine appears to be delivered around 1926).

 

Here are some pics of my instrument, which I love as to playability and, even more, tone!

 

There are fellow members who certainly will help you with your request.

 

Best wishes - Wolf

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Beautiful instrument, Gaspar! According to the dating information provided by concertina historian Wes Williams your serial # places the manufacture of your concertina at 1877. (Please see Randy Merris' information (aka Dowright) which follows about half a dozen posts down, He places the concertina at 1868. I'd say it is a more accurate estimate.)

 

Wes' information can be found by Googling "Wes Williams concertina". "Dating your concertina-A summary guide" should then be a choice and will take you to the information and tables.

 

As a concertina repairman I'll suggest you get the missing button bushings replaced. Not too difficult to do several. Our own cnet member Dave Elliott has a "Concertina Maintenance Manual" that will guide you as to the procedure and be a handy reference.

 

Greg

Edited by Greg Jowaisas

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That is a lovely instrument! I suggest, if you keep it in that original case, that you store it on its side (horizontally) rather than vertically. At least, that is the prevailing opinion. As I understand it, it keeps the effects of gravity on the values even on both sides. Nice thing about this forum: if I'm wrong, someone will post a correction before the electrons have time to dry.

 

I also understand that it's easy to damage the instrument when taking it out of the case vertically. Again, others will have more knowledge about this than I do.

 

Welcome aboard!

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I wouldn't store the instrument in the case for the obvious reason of it being impractical to often take it out of this kind of case and back into it again. I use my hex case just for transport. If I have to take the instrument out of the case I sort of pour it out, of course in a very cautious way, but most likely more vertically than horizontally. Storing it back into the case is more like putting the case over the instrument then.

 

As to the storage I tend to follow Mike's suggestion for the reason mentioned; it is said that half the valves of each side might buckle otherwise (you might imagine why)...

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Here are some pics of my instrument, which I love as to playability and, even more, tone!

 

Wolf thank you so much! Your Lachenal looks very similar to mine (and even more beautiful). Yours have ebony ends right? Is the Excelsior the top of the line in Lachenal concertinas?

 

Beautiful instrument, Gaspar! According to the dating information provided by concertina historian Wes Williams your serial # places the manufacture of your concertina at 1877.

 

Wes' information can be found by Googling "Wes Williams concertina". "Dating your concertina-A summary guide" should then be a choice and will take you to the information and tables.

 

Thanks a lot Greg! I googled that and made this: For the English system: (serial number divided by 769) +1850

The result was 1868 but is hard to know with more precision.

 

That is a lovely instrument! I suggest, if you keep it in that original case, that you store it on its side (horizontally) rather than vertically.

Mike I didn´t know that! I am already started to learning something thanks to you :)

 

I have the same EC as Wolf - which is a very near relative of yours and is the same size. It will fit snugly on its side in a nearly bullet-proof Pelican Storm case iM2075.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Pelican-Storm-IM2075-Black-Case/dp/B0018NE6GW

 

IMG_5411.jpg

That case looks amazing! I need one of those. tahnks!

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Mine is a very similar instrument, except I need to get around to making new ends for it because at some point the original wooden ends were replaced with ugly aluminium plates. I'll be studying your photos very closely when I do! :)

 

The buttons are hollow with little nickel-silver caps soldered on. Quite a few of my button caps had fallen off, and several more came loose when I polished the buttons. I developed a couple of different techniques for replacing them. The easiest way seems to be to cut out oversize discs from thin nickel silver sheet with a jewellers' saw, solder them on, then carefully file off the excess, round off the corner on fine emery paper, and finally polish. Looking at your pictures, it looks like several of your buttons have suffered the same fault and have had metal plugs inserted into the holes instead of new caps.

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Welcome Gaspar. Good choice going with the english concertina, says I being an english player. At least you can play in any key you like.

 

You have a nice looking instrument, I hope it plays well. What sort of music will you play or are you already playing. Some Argentinean folk music perhaps? or something more contemporary?

 

Have you seen this video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM9zjVq_ztU Not Argentina but surprisingly Bolovia.

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Here are some pics of my instrument, which I love as to playability and, even more, tone!

Wolf thank you so much! Your Lachenal looks very similar to mine (and even more beautiful). Yours have ebony ends right? Is the Excelsior the top of the line in Lachenal concertinas?

 

Top of the line was "The Edeophone" (12 sides), Lachenal's response to the introduction of the "Aeola" (8 sides) by Wheatstone.

 

Prior to that the top of the line had been "The Non-Pareil" (= Nonesuch) with precious Amboyna ends and gilded fittings/buttons. The advertisments were saying that The Excelsior and The Non-Pareil had "large scale reeds" in common, I believe them to be technically and soundwise very much the same. I don't know how an "Inimitable" compares to them, but it might be not that different...

 

An Excelsior might have had ebony ends at some point, mine has ends made of "ebonized" pear wood (which means the wood had not just been varnished but sort of marinated with black stain...).

 

(edit: correction according the following postings)

Edited by blue eyed sailor

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Top of the line was "The Edeophone" (12 sides), Lachenal's response to the introduction of the "Aeola" (8 sides) by Wheatstone.

That's a rumor that I used to believe, but I've since learned that the sequence was the reverse

 

Lachenal registered the Edeophone design in 1889 (see this paper and search downward for "Edeophone"), while the first Æola -- which was hexagonal -- dates from around 1898, and the octagonal version of the Aeola was introduced around 1901 (see this paper).

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Hi Gaspar and welcome!

 

I too play EC - including a[nother!] Lachenal Excellsior which like yours has been well played through its lifetime. I think you have a good concertina with a lovely tone that with a little work would be a wonderful instrument. As an alternative to recapping the keys as Alex, above, suggests, you might want to check out

http://www.concertina-spares.com/spareslist.htm for replacement keys. He also sells the material for bushing the keys and other goodies and will ship internationally.

 

All the best - and enjoy your music

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Gaspar,

Your initial estimate of 1865 for the year of manufacture was not bad, and your estimate of 1868 probably was even better. My estimate is circa 1868-1869. [Louis Lachenal was producing about 900 to 1,000 English concertinas per year in that period.] The 1877 estimate is clearly way off the mark.

In my database for English-system Lachenals (over 2200 serial numbers and descriptions), No. 19070 (48 key, wood fretwork, glass buttons, 5-fold bellows) is the lowest numbered instrument labeled as "Lachenal & Co." Presumable the manufacture of this instrument dates to about 1874--right after six of Elizabeth Lachenal's workers acquired the company and changed the company name.

In my data, the highest numbered instrument with a "Louis Lachenal" label is No. 22717 (48 key, wood fretwork, metal buttons). When Ballinger-Saunders-Saunders-Crabb-Fisher-Charrierre acquired the firm, the inventory included a large stock of circular pan labels showing "Louis Lachenal." They continued to use these circular pan labels, in some instruments, by cutting off the "Louis Lachenal" but, in other instruments, leaving the Louis Lachenal on the label. Therefore, some instruments in the 19000-23000 range had "Lachenal and Co." on the exterior label in the right-side oval of the fretwork, but "Louis Lachenal" on the circular pan label.

Edited by Dowright

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Gaspar,

Dowright, aka Randy Merris is the Lachenal expert. Randy has compiled thousands of Lachenal #s since Wes Williams did his research. Hopefully Randy will include his findings along with his concertina research in a website.

 

Greg

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Thank you so much everybody for all of the info and advices you are giving to me. I really appreciate your comments to find out more about this concertina and how to take care of it.
Sadly there are no concertina´s luthiers or makers in Argentina. This country is all about Bandoneon and Tango as you may know. I will take my Lachenal to a Bandoneon´s Luthier for a tuning and setup. Thanks again!

 

Welcome Gaspar. Good choice going with the english concertina, says I being an english player. At least you can play in any key you like.

 

You have a nice looking instrument, I hope it plays well. What sort of music will you play or are you already playing. Some Argentinean folk music perhaps? or something more contemporary?

 

Have you seen this video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM9zjVq_ztU Not Argentina but surprisingly Bolovia.

 

Thanks Steve! I have seen that video. It is amazing how concertinas got to Bolivia in the lates 1890´s and early´s 1900´s.

I love folk pop music and specially Jon Boden. I also really like irish music. I believe you can play any sort of music with the EC :)

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Gaspar

 

You might want to try to contact 'BertramLevy' by PM on this forum.

 

Bertram is a well-known and respected Anglo concertina player who has also learned the Bandoneon and gone to a conservatory in Argentina. He may be able to advise you of someone in Argentina who is able to service your concertina for you.

 

Don.

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