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Golden Aeolas


conzertino
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There is an interesting Amboyna and gold-plated Aeola baritone ( 35061 ) at ebay right now ( from Australia ):

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/141805358721?pb=14&&autorefresh=true

 

I happen to own another Amboyna and gold plated Aeola baritone ( 32915 ). Mine is 64 key, down to F!

 

I know of one other Gold-plated Aeola baritone, which was done up and replated by Wim Wacker. Originally that one was "gilded".

 

And of course there is Alf Edward's Aeola with gilded bellows!

 

Has anyone come across any other gold-plated Aeolas? I have seen gold-plated Edeophones...

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There is an interesting Amboyna and gold-plated Aeola baritone ( 35061 ) at ebay right now ( from Australia ):

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/141805358721?pb=14&&autorefresh=true

 

I happen to own another Amboyna and gold plated Aeola baritone ( 32915 ). Mine is 64 key, down to F!

Down to F, you say. So is it a standard baritone, which would put that low F in the left hand, or a baritone-treble, with that low F in the right hand?

 

I know of one other Gold-plated Aeola baritone, which was done up and replated by Wim Wacker. Originally that one was "gilded".

 

And of course there is Alf Edward's Aeola with gilded bellows!

 

Has anyone come across any other gold-plated Aeolas? I have seen gold-plated Edeophones...

I remember a gold-plated Aeola at the 1999 Bielefeld weekend. Belonged to a woman. Is that one of the ones you've already mentioned?

 

And I once heard of a gold-plated concertina in the American Midwest. (Michigan? Wisconsin? I forget. That would have been in the late 1970s.) I was told that its lowest note was an E, but no more about the layout. My memory seems to picture it as English and 8-sided, but I don't remember whether that was stated or just my own mental picture. There were no photos provided at the time, and I never heard more about it.

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When I interviewed the Fayre Four, they said it was Wheatstone managers the Chidley brothers who suggested their concertinas be gold, as black would be "too funereal" for young ladies to play. These were not gold plated at all--the ends were simply wood stained or painted gold, as were the leather bellows. Originally, the quartet played instruments made by George Jones who also made custom instruments for their father (half of the famous Webb Brothers circus duo). Their Wheatstones were made sometime in the '20s, I believe.

During the mid and later '30s, Wheatstone began making highly ornamented instruments mostly for export sale to South Africa. These had tortoise shell, amboyna wood, or gold-plated ends; gold fittings; and so-called Moroccan leather bellows. I have seen tortoise shell instruments as large as a baritone model.

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I own the gold plated baritone referred to in the OP.

 

It was supposedly commissioned as "one of a pair" by a clown in the circus in Paris in 1912. Originally gilt but completely renovated by Wim Wakker who plated the ends.

 

I remember seeing it on eBay; Chris Algar bought it and went over to Paris to collect it. The information comes from him. However the Wheatstone records don't support the contention that 2 identical baritones were made....serial # 26380

 

It doesn't sound any different from other metal ended baritones I've played but it has that lovely distinctive Wheatstone baritone sound. It is phenomenal to hold and look at and and play.

 

http://www.concertinaconnection.com/rare%20concertinas.htm

 

However, the baritone is not an instrument I have bonded with; I was sure I would. I don't play it enough and would part with it.

 

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Interesting: someone put in a bid of 3.250 shortly before the end - The sniper of a well-known British dealer tried 10 times to come in at the same price, but lost it... In my opinion someone got a bargain!

That's about $5000 USD. A bargain? Perhaps. For me the Wheatstone tipping point is around 1934 When they went with hook and arm action and different construction materials. It does not mean they did not produce some excellent instruments post 1934 but all things being equal (except for the gold plate and amboyna) without the opportunity to personally play the instrument I'd prefer taking my chances on a Wheatstone 1900-1914 or 1927-1932 rather than one from the late 1930s.

 

Nonetheless baritone trebles are rare, amboyna gold plated ones rarer and post 1934 but pre-1943 Wheatstone reeds can still be quite good. And Chris Ghent who examined the instrument knows more than something about concertinas and was impressed. So maybe Robert is correct.

 

Greg

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