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Check this little 20 button beauty out. Not quite 4" flat to flat. She is right in between Eb/Bb and E/B, and beautifully in tune with herself, but not as airtight as I would like. Serial number 48556 by one source appears to have been made 1876 ish? Is this a rare specimen or pretty common? It has amazing sound for such a small thing...

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Edited by John Sylte

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Congratulations on your rare find!

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I cleaned and cleared a couple reeds and replaced the air pad which brought it up from 60% to about 80% airtightness. The other pads are old too, so clearly that simple task would help. This is really a cool litttle instrument! It's powerful. Just wish it had one extra button for (what would be) C#. Ben, do you know how rare this is? I have found only one picture of a similar instrument online, but shinier and without hand rests.

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...So nobody knows anything about these minis?

 

There is a lengthy article by Randall Merris about miniature and semi-miniature concertinas in Volume 9 of the Papers

of the International Concertina Association:

 

http://www.concertina.org/papers-of-the-international-concertina-association-pica/pica-volume-9-2012/

 

i have certainly seen an instrument of this size, though I can't remember the manufacturer or the key...

 

Roger

Edited by lachenal74693

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Thanks for narrowing it down to issue number nine for me. I found that link online but didn't know where to go. It appears from this article that there is only one other Lachenal mentioned of these dimensions and it has 22 buttons. This is beginning to sound like one of a kind. I am totally in love with it. Surprised it only has six fold bellows, and no c# (equivalent). I'm guessing that's what the extra key is on the other one. I really would like to learn more about this thing. Thanks to anyone and everyone for your help.

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Thanks for narrowing it down to issue number nine for me...Surprised it only has six fold bellows, and no c# (equivalent)....

 

It's not very clear which issue contains what, is it?

 

As it happens, I'm sitting in the Music Library in Manchester with my Lachenal semi-miniature Bb/F. It too

has 6-fold bellows. No problems with a 'missing' C# equivalent - it's a full 30-button job - lovely - even the

librarians like it!

 

Roger

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I'm guessing that's what the extra key is on the other one.

I have standard sized (not miniature) 22 button C/G. Extra buttons are G#/Bb on LHS and C#/D# on RHS push/pull. I guess the one in PICA Fig.A1.5 has the same scheme though that one is D/A.

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It certainly sits nicely in a sweet spot in the range of concertina sizes. It is a true miniature, though most were englishes, mccaan duets, etc. The nice thing about this one is that it seems, to me, more practical than the very small miniatures, which have no straps and require the player to pinch the frames to play the instrument, thus making the playing awkward and limiting the time you could spend playing, as your hands would invariably cramp. It sounds beautiful. I would contact Greg Jowaisas, who is a forum member here, for more information/ideas. YAGI also, he knows a good deal about these miniatures. Awesome find!

 

EDIT I noticed that the hand-rests are higher than on a (standard-sized) Lachenal, which makes sense per the ergonomics of a miniature. I think that the concertina was likely a custom ordered one-off or some variant. For the record, I am a novice, and a little drunk, NO, a lotta drunk, hence the 'ergonomics of a miniature'

Edited by nicx66

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The reeds on this little guy are stamped as if it were originally in D/A. The only other metal ended true miniature anglo lachenal in (online) history (that I can find) is the one referred to in volume 9 of the Papers of the International Concertina Association and is also in D/A. This makes sense to me from an engineering perspective because the lowest (biggest) reeds on the left hand side wouldn't fit in a reedpan of this size if they were in a lower key. The fact that mine is currently somewhere between Eb and E suggests maybe this was retuned to be played with another instrument in Bb. Just a guess. An interesting fact is that my serial number significantly predates the other lachenal mini by twenty years or so(?). Does this allow any conclusions? I'm really impressed with this powerful little instrument! Been playing it a lot. It makes my 38b Jeffries feel like a sherman tank when I switch back and forth

Edited by John Sylte

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Hello again everyone. I've just received this little mini back from Greg Jowaisas after he did some excellent work on it. He is recommending new bellows and I'm on board. I've had a brief email exchange with the Dippers and they have the proper jig to make a maximum seven fold bellows. I'm wondering if any of you have miniatures this size and can offer feedback as to whether I should consider trying to find someone who could make eight fold bellows or is there a reason seven is the max the Dippers use?

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Ask Andrew Norman. He's made eight-fold bellows in about 4 inch size. A friend of mine has such an instrument of his.

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Posted (edited)

Ask Andrew Norman. He's made eight-fold bellows in about 4 inch size. A friend of mine has such an instrument of his.

I own Norman miniature (4-inch across) with seven-fold bellows and I think I should have longer bellows. Eight-fold sounds good.

 

Edited: typo

Edited by Takayuki YAGI

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What a cutie! Not surprised it is so good. Will be awesome when it doesn’t leak. Size really makes a difference in air capacity, where reeds of a given pitch use the same amount of air regardless of the size of the instrument. Playing force depends on the end area but air capacity is severely reduced on a small bellows. Unfortunately small bellows with lots of folds are harder to control, but If you can get 8 fold bellows, I’d do it.

Dana

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Posted (edited)

That is a very cool and sweet sounding instrument. Here is a photo of my (semi) mini Lachenal 26 button. It plays great and sounds very nice but from the recording yours sounds better.

 

Richard

 

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Edited by richard

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Hi all,

I recently inherited my late grandfathers prize heirloom... a miniature Lachenal. I don’t play and I’m trying to find out more about it. I will take a look at the artical posted above to see if there are any clues in there, but any other input from collectors such as yourselves would be greatly received.

The story goes that my distant relative (great great great grandfather) who’s surname was Ghatti (Italian) was a musician in London but originally from Venice. Supposedly he knew Louis Lachenal and helped him come up with the innovative idea of changing the keys from the traditional accordion style, which I assume means same direction vs perpendicular. As a thank you, he was gifted this concertina. It’s 3 inches end to end and 2 inches each end with 10 keys. It’s engraved on the side, which Mr Ghatti had done later himself ‘Presented to Gatto’ (his stage name), ‘By Lashnell’ (because I guess he was not a great speller!). Supposedly my ancestor used to play this as part of his act sat in between his two sons who played huge accordions. 

Now I don’t know if this story is true or fabricated but I’ve been told it since I was a child and always found it fascinating, hence why I got gifted it I guess! I would mainly like to know when these were first made by Lachenal to get a rough idea of its age and how many were produced. Is mine typical? I’ve yet to find others that are this small. It still works but I’m looking to get it restored, is this easy and would it affect the value? Not that I’m sure it’s even valuable to be honest. Obviously it is to my family. 

Any info would be greatly received!

Lindsey

 

 

 

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