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Wood And Paper On Lachenal Ends


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As rose wood was used fairly regularly in Victorian and Edwardian furniture making I would expect that better models do indeed have rosewood ends. However, as Blue Eyed Sailor notes, finishes can be deceptive. There are certainly instances of veneers and laminates of several thin layers of wood being used.

 

In terms of foxing, it may be that a good quality cotton based paper (or similar) was being used (?). My understanding is that foxing is either an oxidation of impurities within the paper or caused by fungal growth (which may be more likely in wood pulp based papers)- high humidity/damp being a catalyst to both. I think there are modern 'archival' standards for paper which include a resistance to changes such as foxing.

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Is the material on wood ended Lachenals really rosewood? Or is it just stained pine?

 

I'm also curious that the papers with the serial numbers and trade mark stay bright white without foxing. I wonder how they managed that...

 

Re rosewood: While concertinas with solid rosewood or ebony ends can occasionally be found (mostly Wheatstones from certain periods, AFAIK), they are rare. These woods are prone to cracking, and so not reliable for structural use. The standard was/is to use a more stable wood for support and cover it with a thin veneer or rosewood, ebony, amboyna, or other decorative wood, e.g., walnut. I have seen instruments where the veneer was clearly real rosewood, but also at least a couple (cheaper, IMO) where the ends were some other wood stained -- or even painted -- to resemble rosewood. And as Wolf said, ebonized pearwood was often a visual substitute for true ebony.

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As rose wood was used fairly regularly in Victorian and Edwardian furniture making I would expect that better models do indeed have rosewood ends.

 

In the few examples I've seen of rosewood furniture (though I don't know from what period), it has been rosewood veneer over some more common structural wood, just as I've described for concertina ends. Was that the exception rather than the rule?

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As rose wood was used fairly regularly in Victorian and Edwardian furniture making I would expect that better models do indeed have rosewood ends.

In the few examples I've seen of rosewood furniture (though I don't know from what period), it has been rosewood veneer over some more common structural wood, just as I've described for concertina ends. Was that the exception rather than the rule?

 

Probably the rule I would think.

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Thanks to all for the comments. As to the paper, it defies all my experience of paper of that age. It must have been heavily bleached, with the bleaching agent not washed out before its was printed and inserted.

 

If anyone is still following... What is the material used to cover most of the wooden hex boxes? Is it lacquered paper?

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Most of the Rosewood Tinas I have seen are solid Rosewood. Not an expensive timber in Victorian time. You can usually tell a Rock Chidley by the quality of the Rosewood , bu then at some time in his career he was a Timber Merchant ( see Chris Flint paper on Rock Chidley ) Real rosewood is a vastly superior timber to the erzats variety that we see today. Whilst on the Rosewood topic , my partner dropped my Holmwood 'Tina and smashed one end, she was distraught bless her. A phone call to Hamish and a new end was on its way. He had made a One Handed 'Tina for someone and so had a spare Rosewood left hand end. I realised some months later that there was damage to the right hand end. Another call to Hamish, "Send it back and I will make you a new pair of ends from the Rosewood that you got me in 1992" This REAL rosewood was a stack I discovered when we cleared the Smallwood Ruler Factory in Birmingham . It had been in stick since 1927, what a colour ,what quality, I almost drooled when I saw it

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Oft-times the rosewood ends of a concertina have been finished using a dark brown French polish - hiding the beauty of the underlying wood.

A while ago I stripped off the dark French polish on a rosewood ended 'tina and refinished using a blond shellac - what a transformation!!

Edited by SteveS
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Real rosewood is a vastly superior timber to the erzats variety that we see today.

 

Well, there's "rosewood", and there's "rosewood". I once thought that all rosewood was Brazilian, and maybe that was once the case, just as "German" concertinas weren't considered to be "anglos" when I first started playing. But at least today, there are several members of the "rosewood" family -- including "Indian" and various Caribbean and Central American varieties, though not cocobolo -- which are commonly referred to just as "rosewood". Are those what you're referring to as "erzats"? I do agree that they're not the same as the Brazilian... at least not in color.

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On an old concertina, it is often difficult to tell if the wood is solid or laminated or not. In my book, laminated is vastly preferable. I do like the thicker overlapped side veneer over the modern thin veneer that has little resistance to damage. Things like amboyna have little structural integrity and need a good laminated foundation. I have an old rosewood Lachenal English that has an inner and outer rosewood layer with something different in the middle. You can only really see it under a microscope, not that the layers are thin, but you can only see the transitions under magnification.

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