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Erudhalion

34 button anglo - Maker and date

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Posted (edited)

Greetings,

 

A few years ago I was given this 34 button C/G anglo. It came with what looks to me like its original wooden box, minus the carrying handle and key.

 

The instrument belonged to my great-great grandfather, who lived in east London sometime in the second half of the XIXth century.

 

As you can see from the photos, instrument is in pretty good nick, considering no-one must have played it for many decades. It is pretty much in tune, although a couple of reeds buzz and the two buttons at the treble end of the right-hand side accidentals row don't produce any sound. Apart from that, the straps need replacing as the leather is very nearly worn through where they go through the brass loop at the end of the hand rest.

 

As far as the layout goes, I haven't been able to find a layout that matches exactly. One feature that I have heard is a bit unusual is a low C drone button on the left hand

 

I haven't opened the instrument yet, although I will once I have mustered up the courage. There are no markings of any kind that I can see on the outside, the metal facing on the right hand end has an oval window, but unlike other concertinas I have seen, there is no label in it.

 

Does anybody know who the manufacturer could be?

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Edited by Erudhalion

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Posted (edited)

I think that is a Lachenal "Special AngloModel."

 

Do the extra buttons play notes, or are they novelty sounds? The bellows look to be in good shape. 

 

I've never had my hands on one, but I've heard that they were meant to rival Jeffries. 

 

You can see it mentioned in this 1930 price list http://www.concertina.com/pricelists/lachenal/Lachenal-Pricelist-All-c1930.pdf

 

It could also be a New Model - "The finest Anglo that has ever been produced" -- bold claim! It doesn't fit exactly the description of either, but could be somewhere in between. And they may have varied over the years. 

 

Here is another thread that talks about them: 

 

 

Edited by Pgidley

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Pgidley!

 

Barring the two buttons that don't appear to work, there aren't any novelty noies. The right hand picture in the catalogue appears to be a fairly similar instrument to mine, although, as you say, the descriptions don't quite match up.

 

My concertina has bone rather than metal buttons, but the fact that the maker's label appears to be missing might mean that it has had some work done to it.

 

I haven't got it with me at the moment, but I'll post the note layout as soon as I can.

 

The bellows are in good shape. As far as I can tell there are no significant leaks.

Edited by Erudhalion

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14 minutes ago, Erudhalion said:

the fact that the maker's label appears to be missing might mean that it has had some work done to it.

 

More likely it simply got damaged - it's easy to pick the instrument up the wrong way and accidentally poke a finger through it.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Takayuki YAGI said:

I might be wrong, but the bellows paper looks like Jones to me.

 Good eye, those do look like Jones papers, as well as the endframe stamp. 

Edited by Pgidley

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11 hours ago, Takayuki YAGI said:

I might be wrong, but the bellows paper looks like Jones to me.

 

YAGI has a good eye when it comes to ID from a picture! In the last photo, you can see a riveted-action lever, also indicative of a Jones. Also of note are the end-frames, which appear smooth, instead of the usual horizontal line/detail. The hand straps appear original and in great shape compared to most. I hope they can be preserved. Very cool find!

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Posted (edited)

Thank you!

 

The dates and area George Jones was active certainly match up with what I had supposed.

 

As for the hand straps, as far as I can tell they are simply held with one screw in the side frame and one in the end of the wooden hand rest, so I should be able to simply unscrew them and replace them. They will definitely be preserved!

 

If it's of interest, I've attached the note layout, hope it is legible. As you can tell, I was wrong in my original post, it is in fact a Bb/F. The blank buttons are the ones that don't make any sound. The only reeds which seem seriously out of tune are the F on the pull of the last button of the F row on the right hand and the C on the pull of the first button on the bottom row of the left hand. The F buzzes, so I hope it's just a matter of cleaning.

 

This is more of a repair and restoration question, but should  I grease the bellows at all? They seem a bit stiff, and I wouldn't want to damage them. I am a bit concerned about weakening the glue.

left hand.jpg

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Edited by Erudhalion

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As an owner of a couple of Jones instruments, I thought that the bellows papers in the photo were the same as those on one of my instruments. Beyond that particular clue, tho', I can't say I notice anything that looks especially "Jones-y."

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Right!

 

I took the thing apart this evening, just to see what I could find and to see why some of the reeds weren't working. It turns out it was just some crud stuck in them. Cleaned them out, and got them al working bar the buzzing F. The reed is touching the plate, I tried very delicately jiggling it around with a small magnetic screwdriver, but couldn't get it into the right position. Any tips?

 

It turns out the blank and half-blank buttons in my diagrams are:

right hand accidentals row: the blank one is Bb/Db, the one to its left is G/E

Left hand accidentals row: the leftmost button is F#/Eb

Left hand middle row: the leftmost button is Bb/F

Left hand lower row: the leftmost button is A/C

 

Also, some of the leather valves are missing. I should have some suitably thin leather, so I might replace them.

 

Another thing that I found is what appears to be a serial number, 17860, stamped on the bottom of both of the wooden plate the action is attached to (sorry for the highly technical language).

 

Next thing  is to is glue the pad of the right hand side Bb/Db button back as it has come unstuck from the end of the lever. Do you reckon hide glue would be ok? As a trainee violin-maker I have plenty of the stuff around, and I'd rather use something reversible and  possibly historically accurate rather than synthetic glue.

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Lastly, the number 60 is stamped on the piece of wood behind the button-holes.

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Posted (edited)

"Also, some of the leather valves are missing. I should have some suitably thin leather, so I might replace them."

 

If, as it appears from the photos, the "missing" valves are for the highest notes, there likely never were valves.  Any evidence of old glue or the limiting pins?

 

 

Edited by Bill N

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3 minutes ago, Bill N said:

If, as it appears from the photos, the "missing" valves are for the highest notes, there likely never were valves.  Any evidence of old glue or the limiting pins?

 

 

 

Ah! I was wondering why there weren't any pins. Thanks!

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Thanks for the photos of reed pans and action. The longer I look and the more I compare those photos with the inner workings and other evidence of my Jones instruments, the more similarities I see. For instance, the posts on which the levers operate look identical to those on my Jones instruments. Similarly, the lettering/numbering styles of the numbers stamped into the wood look awfully similar. I grant that the makers and stampers of concertina parts may have obtained their tools from a very small number of manufacturers and nobody particularly cared what typeface was used for those stamps. However, my eye sees similarities between the shapes of the numbers and their placement on the outer edge(s) of the reed pans. So, circumstancial evidence like this tends to make me think the instrument was from G. Jones. My wooden-ended, 34-button anglo  that is most like it bears the serial No. 17021.

 

So, that's my small contribution to the mystery.

 

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