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Identification


mcook
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Can you help me to date a concertina please? From my researches on the internet it seems to be a Victorian Wheatstone English instrument. Unfortunately there is no serial number visible (nor does there appear to be any trace of one having been removed) and the oval in the fretwork is empty.

 

It was bought second hand about 50 years ago and I believe that the previous owner was a member of a Salvation Army band.

 

The attached photo shows a general view. I have taken close up pictures of the details if they would be of help. I hope this comes through O.K. as I've not tried to send an attachment to a forum before.

 

Your help would be much appreciated.post-1036-1109579787_thumb.jpg

 

Marjorie

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As Chris has said, your instrument has a very 1850's/'60's look to it, the biggest indicator for myself being that the C buttons are gilded (similar models were otherwise still being built until 1933). It was certainly made by Lachenal's, though whether it was sold as a C. Wheatstone, a Louis Lachenal, or possibly an early Lachenal & Co. remains to be seen.

 

If you unscrew the six endbolts on one of the ends, you can take it off and look inside. You will see a wooden board there, with radial divisions and the reeds slotted into it, carefully pull it out by putting your index finger through the hole in the middle of it, you should then find there is a paper label glued to the inside of this wooden "reed pan" which should have the "maker's" name on it. The serial number should also be stamped into the reed pan on the other side, at the front corner, and also (in the corresponding position) on the wooden "bellows frame" into which it slots.

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As Chris has said, your instrument has a very 1850's/'60's look to it, the biggest indicator for myself being that the C buttons are gilded (similar models were otherwise still being built until 1933). It was certainly made by Lachenal's, though whether it was sold as a C. Wheatstone, a Louis Lachenal, or possibly an early Lachenal & Co. remains to be seen.

 

Thia Lachenal on e-bay has a similar look

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...7303920947&rd=1

I'm not sure if the C buttons are gilded - this monitor has very dodgy colour mapping!

 

Chris

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Thank you for your replies to my request for information. I’d not recognised the gilding on the keys but have now had a closer look and there appears to be the remains of it on three keys which I think are three C’s.

 

I’m not too confident enough about my ability as a handyman to take the concertina apart, so have for the time being put a copy of the instructions in the case for future use. In the meantime I wonder if you would be good enough to give me some advice.

 

I have no idea what the concertina might be worth, nor whether there is any point in having it renovated. The bellows have one small patch (about 1cm square) but are airtight and, although two of the notes are not in good order, the rest seem to be in good condition. It appears to have been well used, but also to have been well cared for. There seems to be no way of knowing whether the box is original, although the leather handle had already had to be replaced by the time I bought it in the early 1950’s.

 

Could you make a guess, just from seeing the photo, as to whether it should be repaired or left as it is? If it was renovated, would it be robust enough to be played or would its age mean that it can only be kept for interest?

 

I would be grateful for any help you can give me.

 

Marjorie.

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Thank you for your replies to my request for information. I’d not recognised the gilding on the keys but have now had a closer look and there appears to be the remains of it on three keys which I think are three C’s.

 

I’m not too confident enough about my ability as a handyman to take the concertina apart, so have for the time being put a copy of the instructions in the case for future use. In the meantime I wonder if you would be good enough to give me some advice.

 

I have no idea what the concertina might be worth, nor whether there is any point in having it renovated. The bellows have one small patch (about 1cm square) but are airtight and, although two of the notes are not in good order, the rest seem to be in good condition. It appears to have been well used, but also to have been well cared for. There seems to be no way of knowing whether the box is original, although the leather handle had already had to be replaced by the time I bought it in the early 1950’s.

 

Could you make a guess, just from seeing the photo, as to whether it should be repaired or left as it is? If it was renovated, would it be robust enough to be played or would its age mean that it can only be kept for interest?

 

I would be grateful for any help you can give me.

 

Marjorie.

post-1036-1109839974_thumb.jpg

Edited by mcook
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Could you make a guess, just from seeing the photo, as to whether it should be repaired or left as it is?  If it was renovated, would it be robust enough to be played or would its age mean that it can only be kept for interest?

Absolutely worth restoring.

 

Absolutely worth playing.

 

The only uncertainty should be whether you would sell it,

... or whether we can talk you into learning to play it. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Could you make a guess, just from seeing the photo, as to whether it should be repaired or left as it is?  If it was renovated, would it be robust enough to be played or would its age mean that it can only be kept for interest?

Absolutely worth restoring.

 

Absolutely worth playing.

 

The only uncertainty should be whether you would sell it,

... or whether we can talk you into learning to play it. :)

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My thanks to everyone who has helped with the identification of this concertina. I now know that it is well worth keeping and shall try to find someone qualified to have a good look at it for me and give an opinion about it's exact age and condition.

 

Your assistance has been much appreciated.

 

Marjorie

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