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Jim Besser

Strange Beast On Ebay

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Interesting, but no, I haven't..

 

Apparently Chemnitzer-bandoneon style construction, but with an anglo layout. Wheatstone or Jeffries, I wonder? And I wonder who made it.

 

But at 7.5 kg (16.5 pounds), I think I'll stick with those constructed in the English style.

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Wondering whether it has any connection with the late Pat Robson, who may be remembered by some of the longer standing members here???

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I knew Pat Robson in his later years quite well, and know that he made a Bandoneon style 5 row CBA and also at least one standard type Bandoneon; both of which I saw. He possibly could have made it for a fellow member of the ICA before I knew him. It does look similar to his style of inlay and bellows construction. However I know he disliked Anglo concertinas; especially Jeffries Anglos.

"Cheney" is I think just a case lock and catch maker.

Inventor.

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It certainly has the size and shape of a Large German Concertina (LGC) - chamfered corners, air lever and all - but the trim definiely doesn't look German. The metal corners on the bellows and frames look home-made, in contrast to the standard pressed tinplate corners used on practically all Chemnitzers, Carlsfelders,Bandoneons and even small, hexagonal 20-b Germans.

And all the LGCs have a lot more buttons, so you don't have to push and pull them as much as genuine Anglos. Either the alternative fingerings made it possible to make a large instrument that's still playable, or the size of the instrument made it necessary to provide alternative fingerings to minimise bellows direction chsnges. You might have problems playing a fast jig on this one, unless you have arms like a blacksmith!

 

Cheers,

John

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I have a letter from Pat Robson dated 1982 (two typed pages, single spaced!) which he wrote in response to an inquiry about bandoneons, Chemnitzers, and duet concertinas. In it, he states that he built a "square box with the same keyboard as a 30 key Anglo in C & G. Main voice octave deeper though and buttons further apart & 3/8" dia". His return address was in Aldershot. I saved this letter because it had a lot of interesting information and commentary on bandoneons, "Chemmies", and duets.

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I have a letter from Pat Robson dated 1982 (two typed pages, single spaced!) which he wrote in response to an inquiry about bandoneons, Chemnitzers, and duet concertinas. In it, he states that he built a "square box with the same keyboard as a 30 key Anglo in C & G. Main voice octave deeper though and buttons further apart & 3/8" dia". His return address was in Aldershot. I saved this letter because it had a lot of interesting information and commentary on bandoneons, "Chemmies", and duets.

 

Very cool! Thanks for the info.

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In view of the letter from Pat Robson confirming that he made such an instrument; I would say that I am 99% certain that this is the actual instrument he made.

Inventor.

 

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I knew Pat Robson in his later years quite well, and know that he made a Bandoneon style 5 row CBA and also at least one standard type Bandoneon; both of which I saw.

In the letter, he also discussed getting together with Inventor about possibly building a square, double reeded box based on the Hayden fingering system, "the most sensible keyboard I've seen so far for a duet by a long way".

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That was nice of him. In fact he never did make a Hayden system "Bandoneon", but he encouraged me to have a batch made in Italy by Bastari; which I did. However these did not prove to be a commercial sucess.

I am not sure of the copywrite implications, but do you think it worthwile to publish the letter in full. He would have loved to have had internet websites like concertina.net available in his day, and I know he would have been a prolific contributor.

Inventor.

Edited by inventor

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I am not sure of the copywrite implications, but do you think it worthwile to publish the letter in full. He would have loved to have had internet websites like concertina.net available in his day, and I know he would have been a prolific contributor.

Would it be an appropriate item for concertina.com?

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They were Accordion reeds on individual plates for each pair of reeds. He had the better quality reed plates from either Binci, or Antonelli.

Inventor.

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To put a face to a name, picture of a 'mixed' trio circa 1980.

 

 

 

 

It always amazed us that he ever managed to make anything considering the amount of world wide letters that he wrote. My own collection of 'Pats Epistles' exceeds thirty or so. Each double sided, foolscap page hand typed with no top, bottom or right hand margin.

 

Geoffrey

 

 

 

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Dear all, only for letting you know that finally I bought the "strange beast".

I asked in the past to David Fabre about the levitina and his new project with Mr. Emmanuel Pariselle, as I always liked the octavated sound of the bandoneon but I didn't dare learning a new instrument more, I have some cheap german concertinas and a bandoneon but not with LM reeds, MM reeds, and I didn't learn to play them more than the core of buttons similar to the anglo concertina.

 

The strange beast is a concertina in C/G with lachenal/wheatstone layout and with LM reeds (for my ears, I didn't open it by now). It is in playable order and it is a nice quality instrument, I find the bellows a bit short for the instrument, but it is very responsible, and the buttons a bit noisy.

I shall post photographs and recordings of the instrument in the future, when I shall be less busy (I expect).

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Congrats Felix, I'm looking forward to reading more, since I find the idea of an Anglo with the sound of a Bandonion quite interesing!

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Hello, as the ebay link doesn't work, I shall put the original pictures of the auction and another ones that I made when I opened the instrument one month ago for your information about the reeds, construction. I was playing it the last months and I enjoy it a lot.

The layout is the wheatstone/lachenal layout with the first button of the left hand G row giving G/D, the only difference is that the first button of the left hand accidental row gives E/C instead of E/F, duplicating then the low C in both directions.

The instrument has a stamp inside, of the tuner /repairer Peter Grassby or Grasgby, from Coventry, that tuned it in december 1991, I e-mailed him but he didn't remembered who was the owner of the instrument then.

 

Félix

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