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Stephen Selby

Wheatstone Labels In Reed Pans

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I have a Keith Prowse English concertina (48, Cheapside) with brass reeds, serial number 5543.

 

The label on the reed pan is Wheatstone at 20, Conduit Street.

 

The action is very neat and looks like Lachenal construction with saddles as in the Wheatstone patent.

 

I have attached some photos.

 

Question: would it be a Lachenal reed pan even though it has a Wheatstone label? Or would Keith, Prowse have had one factory do the action and another the reed pan?

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The instrument is a 100% Wheatstone made by Louis Lachenal. The ledgers reveal that #5543 was one of four sold to George Case on 6th October 1854.

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Thank you for the answer. Could I be forgiven for being confused?

 

Was Lachenal still working for Wheatstone just before 1854? Did Case take it out of the shop and sell it to Mr Keith and Mr Prowse, who re-labelled it and sold it as his own?

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Was Lachenal still working for Wheatstone just before 1854? Did Case take it out of the shop and sell it to Mr Keith and Mr Prowse, who re-labelled it and sold it as his own?

 

Louis Lachenal was making concertinas for Wheatstone between 1848 and 1865/66, setting up his own business in 1858. You should read my research on him: Louis Lachenal: “Engineer and Concertina Manufacturer” (Part 1) and Some Notes on Lachenal Concertina Production and Serial Numbers ;)

 

Did Case take it out of the shop and sell it to Mr Keith and Mr Prowse, who re-labelled it and sold it as his own?

 

It's impossible to know exactly what happened, but Keith, Prowse & Co. were pioneering sellers of free reed instruments who sometimes bought concertinas direct from Wheatstone's and badged them as their own, whilst Case was a teacher as well as a virtuoso, and a maker of concertinas...

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Thank you. That helps.

 

On my instrument, the wood used for the ends and the pattern of the fretwork are identical to Fig. 1 of 'Some Notes...'. The difference I see is that the end of mine has a fancy chamfer and your is plainer. The leatherwork on mine is dark green. (Can't see the colour on yours.)

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