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andyasw

How Do I Date My Wheatstone 48 Button?

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I came across the Wheatstone that had been hidden away for some time though I'm not a player! There isn't the little plaque with a number on it like the ones I've seen in photos. I want to date it, and possibly sell it on, and have read the ends can be unscrewed to reveal the number but where will I find it? Hoping you guys can assist.

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A photo of your instrument would help people here to make suggestions, however I also have a Wheatstone without external evidence of a number and after a search inside the instrument I found one on the joint between the top plate ( fret board) and the action plate ( the bit where all the levers are ) ,so, carefully unscrew the end bolts and lift the whole 'end' away from the bellows. Now you can examine the Reed Pan ( the board inside the bellows which holds the Reeds.... you may see a number on this, perhaps on its under side ( you are looking for a 4 or 5 digit number.... yes lower numbers do exist but are very rare).

 

If there is no number on the Reedpan then seperate the upper and lower sections of the Action Box... you may need to remove one or two small screws ( if it is an English keyboard these will be the centre screw at the base of the thumb strap and the centre screw of the little metal plate ( finger rest).... if it is an anglo or Duet then there may be screws that hold the two parts together which come from the inner side and screw into the hand rails. As I said at the begining it is possible to find a number on the frame face of the joint between the upper and lower action box sections.

 

good luck

 

Geoff.

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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Should a novice be encouraged to start dismantling an instrument just to establish its age ?

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post-11636-0-78777400-1423128463_thumb.jpg

 

 

Thanks for the two replies so far. I am a woodwind repairer so am adept at dismantling complex mechanisms on hugely expensive professional instruments so the removal of a few screws is not beyond me!

 

I've uploaded three photos as suggested. The label will indicate the Wheatstone presence at that address and give an indication to age.

 

I will proceed later with some closer examination - is there any particular end that might contain a serial number or is it the case of try one end first? Does the leather thumb strap prevent the removal of the end? The description of separating the sections of the action box confused me - where could I view photos of this detail.

 

Anyway, I hope the photos assist in some way.

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Sorry to have confused you.

 

David Elliot has written a book " The Concertina Maintenance Manual" usually available on ebay.

 

But for now undo the thumbstrap adjustment screw and thread the leather back out of the retaining clip and you will see three screws on the base of the strap frame... the centre one will need to be undone. Also you have one above the keyboard that will need taking out too.

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Hi Andy,

 

opening an action box is both (much) more complicated and (at least I'd guess) less likely to open a way to the desired information.

 

I would thus suggest removing the entire ends (one after another) first. You can leave the thumb straps attached, it's just carefully removing the six screws at the edges of each end...

 

Best wishes - Wolf

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Thank you. I removed the six screws to reveal the serial number. Success!!

 

Are these rare and/or valuable?

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Thank you. I removed the six screws to reveal the serial number. Success!!

 

Are these rare and/or valuable?

Fine!

 

As to your request, it depends on what you would call rare resp. valuable. Before your posting the serial number it can be said that the metal buttons may indicate an instrument above entry level, whereas the end screws (which you removed) seem to get screwed directly into the wood, thus lacking those metal nuts (which would be buried in the wood) being another indicator for an at least mid-level instrument...

Edited by blue eyed sailor

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Rosewood, 6 Fold Bellows and Metal Buttons indicates that it is a fairly decent Concertina

Now you have the number with a bit of luck it will be in the Horniman Ledgers. Good Luck

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Could it be that the number you found inside the concertina is a batch number, rather than a serial number? Wheatstone was not located at the Charing Cross address until the early 20th century.

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Could you share the serial number with us?

 

I wouldn't be surprised if this instrument would need some work to make it comfortably playable, but not work that should be beyond your skills. As suggested, get the Elliott book. It might also be in an older pitch (not A=440), and tuning is best left to an expert.

 

I think all of us would agree that you've got a potentially nice instrument here (not likely hugely valuable) and a good player, and the thing to do is to fix it up and learn to play it! There's a lot of joy to be gotten from a concertina--and unlike woodwinds, you're not always sucking on reeds!

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The number inside is 3265. I'm going to leave any potential work required to an expert and sell it. The only things that require any attention are two buttons that when depressed sometimes stick; at other times they spring back which would seem very minor.

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The number inside is 3265. I'm going to leave any potential work required to an expert and sell it. The only things that require any attention are two buttons that when depressed sometimes stick; at other times they spring back which would seem very minor.

Yes that number 'could' be correct and the label could be wrong, a later addition along with the six fold bellows, especially if that number is stamped into the wood, not just written. It looks to be a model that would have originally had wooden baffles, the fret holes are bigger than later models .

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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I own #5892 http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=13942&p=134138 from c1854 and the two are evidently closely related, so I'd agree that 3265 is a strongly possible correct serial number.

 

Mine has the 20a Conduit Street label appropriate for its age; maybe ~3265 went back to Wheatstone for a repair later in its life and the new address and maker label was applied by the repairer then?

 

It's a tiny bit quiet because of the brass reeds, but a lovely action and a great tone. If you are going to sell it, it will make someone very happy.

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The 3265 is stamped into the wood rather than written. The reeds are brass. So Steve and Geoff - you are saying this could well be 1850 but a new Wheatstone label could have been applied if it had been back to them, at Charing Cross, for some reason.

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The 3265 is stamped into the wood rather than written. The reeds are brass. So Steve and Geoff - you are saying this could well be 1850 but a new Wheatstone label could have been applied if it had been back to them, at Charing Cross, for some reason.

Yes this is very likely. It is probable that the original 'Conduit Street' label with its 'by her majesty's letters patent' words would have been glued onto the Baffle as would the number label for the other end;.. both lost when the baffles were removed .

 

Then the later repair and another Wheatstone label applied. It was advertising after all and no value to the company to have the wrong address on one of their products !

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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