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David Aumann

28-Key Lachenal - All Buttons On One End.

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I put this instrument up ten years ago. It's still sitting in my cupboard. I don't know what it is and I don't know what to do with it.

It's a rosewood-ended Lachenal, serial number 72000-odd. 28 buttons, all on one end, only a flat wooded panel on the other. 12-fold bellows, about 7 3/4" across the flats. Most likely a one-off instrument, I can only surmise what it may have been made for ... perhaps an amputee soldier returning after the Boer (?) War, or perhaps a vaudevillian who could play concertina with one hand while doing something else with the other?

Dating this one could be an important clue, because it might add weight to the returning soldier theory, but when does 72000 date from?

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Looks like a concertina made for a melodeon player. Like the RHS of the Franglo that Colin Dipper developed for French melodeon players,;nearly 100 years later. These players wanted an instrument with the same fingering as a French melodeon, but with the sound of a concertina.

Can you give a button diagram, which might confirm this ?

Many, especially Irish, melodeon players do not use the left hand chords at all.

 

Inventor..

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Thank you for this! Something like that had never occurred to me.
This instrument is in C/G, and is exactly the same as if it were a regular 28-key Lachenal with the left hand just transposed across to the right hand side. Just like on the linked chart (for 30 key Wheatstone) but with notes from both hands run together and without the two outside buttons on the accidental row.

Thanks for taking an interest!

David

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Looks like a concertina made for a melodeon player. Like the RHS of the Franglo that Colin Dipper developed for French melodeon players,;nearly 100 years later. These players wanted an instrument with the same fingering as a French melodeon, but with the sound of a concertina.

Not just French melodeon players in general but Emmanuel Pariselle who found a very similar instrument in France which gave him the idea to ask Colin to make one with basses and chords on the left hand.

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The number is little early for a Boer War connection, assuming it was numbered as an anglo. However, there were plenty of other wars earlier in the C19th that would have led to amputee veterans, not to mention industrial/agricultural accidents or even birth defects.

 

I wonder if the left hand side was strapped to the leg, reminding me of the late Dave Brady (Swan Arcade), who played, I think, a Maccann duet in this manner. However the instrument in question does appear to have something more akin to a standard melodeon strap.

 

Interesting instrument indeed.

Edited by malcolm clapp

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Hi David,

what an interesting instrument. Where do you live in Melbourne? I would be really keen to have a look at this "concertina".

I will send you a PM.

Cheers,

Dave

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I wonder if the left hand side was strapped to the leg, reminding me of the late Dave Brady (Swan Arcade), who played, I think, a Maccann duet in this manner. However the instrument in question does appear to have something more akin to a standard melodeon strap.

 

True, but the existing strap looks a bit rough for something Lachenal original. Maybe an original leg strap was later replaced by a two-handed owner? Although the current setup could also be useful for someone with two arms but only one hand....

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What a great idea - one could strap it to a leg, or something immobile and play a tabor pipe with the other hand...

 

Adrian

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The strap on the solid end looks like a bit of bush carpentry to me. It's certainly not an original fitting. It's held on by two round-headed "nails" that look a bit like thumb tacks.

Thanks to all who are contributing to this post. I know nothing of its origin nor the purpose for which it was built, so all of these suggestions and comments are really interesting!

Regards, David

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What a great idea - one could strap it to a leg, or something immobile and play a tabor pipe with the other hand...

 

You're definitely not the only one to think of that, but it also occurs to me that with both the mouth and one hand free, one could enjoy a tune and a pint simultaneously. ;) :D

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Silly idea perhaps, but maybe it was designed for use when riding a horse. Reins in the left hand, concertina attached to thigh or saddle pommel....I'm thinking in a parade or perhaps as a circus act, not Royal Ascot or The Grand National....that would be too silly!

 

Another idea: an anglo-concertina band conductor; attach the concertina securely to a belt at the hip and a conductor's baton in the left hand??? Play and conduct simultaneously....

 

Clutching at straws here....thinking outside the square hexagon. :unsure:

Edited by malcolm clapp

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Maybe someone who needed to defend himself whilst playing?

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What a great idea - one could strap it to a leg, or something immobile and play a tabor pipe with the other hand...

 

You're definitely not the only one to think of that, but it also occurs to me that with both the mouth and one hand free, one could enjoy a tune and a pint simultaneously. ;) :D

 

Well Jim, that was my second thought - my third would probably get me a C.net warning point!

 

Cheers

 

Adrian

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If it was intended for a 2 handed, melodeon style player, wouldn't one expect to see the air button on the left end?

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The 12 fold bellows seems unusually large. I'm wondering if that's another clue, maybe the "left" side is really for a foot?

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PLEASE HELP, this has been on a shelf in my nans for as long as i can remember, i think its a Lachenal but i have no knowledge at all really about these things, i have it listed on ebay as we speak and i have received more messages for this in 1 day than anything i have ever listed, if someone could please enlighten me on the origins i would be greatfull or even better make me an offer to buy!

 

Also i have attached a photo of a Lachenal that looks very similar!

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PLEASE HELP, this has been on a shelf in my nans for as long as i can remember, i think its a Lachenal but i have no knowledge at all really about these things, i have it listed on ebay as we speak and i have received more messages for this in 1 day than anything i have ever listed, if someone could please enlighten me on the origins i would be greatfull or even better make me an offer to buy!

 

Also i have attached a photo of a Lachenal that looks very similar!

Please check the other topics you started for information.David.

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