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Frank Nocera

J. Riley Maker?

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Has anyone heard of a concertina maker J. Riley? If so, were they good instruments? I have searched (I think) thoroughly and can find nothing. There is one for sale on Ebay and I am wondering if it would be a good one to purchase and have restored. Stamped into the frame in the photos is "J. Riley", and what appears to be "Birms".

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Best to give a link to the ebay  advert  and people can see what    you are looking at.

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So, looking at the photos on the Ebay post, it appears it once had a label. My guess is that it is a Lachenal Anglo c/g. 

So here's my question. Assuming my guess is correct, what would a ball-park estimate to have it fully restored and tuned? Ground-up restoration: bellows, felts, springs, end-pieces restored, valves. Everything except the reeds.

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Well  Frank,  you have answered your own question  ... a  Lachenal  for sure.

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Frank, you should contact Greg Jowaisas who is on this list.  In the US, he's your best bet.

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I emailed Greg. I also called the folks at the Button Box. The serial number appears to be 79001. If I did the math right, it dates to 1868. That's a lotta miles on this instrument. 

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Posted (edited)

I ended up getting this concertina knowing it was a Lachenal but not sure of the date.  I bought it as another project as I’m learning to build concertinas and am in the process of making my first set now.  I’m wondering about the estimated age myself.  1868? That’s interesting.

 

Cheers, Seth

Edited by Seth

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Congratulations on getting the Lachenal. In the end I decided not to bid on it, as I really want a 30 button Anglo and believe I will be better off to find one that has already been restored by a well-known restorer.

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Posted (edited)

There sems to have been several Rileys from Birmingham, probably from more then one generation, involved in some aspect of the nusical instrument trade. I have seen Lachenal concertinass labeled "W C Riley" and "W S Riley & Son". Then there are also Post Office Directory listings for "Joseph Ripley" and "John Ripley & Sons". What strikes me as unusual is the exterior stampings of "79001" and the "J Ripley". 

Dating of 1868 is way off the mark. The 79000 range came long after the "Louis Lachenal" era (up to 1873), well into the "Lachenal & Co" era thereafter. My best estimaate for the year of manufacture is circa 1884.

Edited by Dowright
correct spelling

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55 minutes ago, Frank Nocera said:

Congratulations on getting the Lachenal. In the end I decided not to bid on it, as I really want a 30 button Anglo and believe I will be better off to find one that has already been restored by a well-known restorer.

 

A few people bid at the last minute as it went up a little.  I’m building a 30 button right now, my first attempt, but a Hybrid.  Just finished he bellows yesterday.

13CCB653-B6E5-4E49-A4AF-1796DB91DC45.jpeg

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16 minutes ago, Dowright said:

There sems to have been several Rileys from Birmingham, probably from more then one generation, involved in some aspect of the nusical instrument trade. I have seen Lachenal concertinass labeled "W C Riley" and "W S Riley & Son". Then there are also Post Office Directory listings for "Joseph Ripley" and "John Ripley & Sons". What strikes me as unusual is the exterior stampings of "79001" and the "J Ripley". 

Dating of 1868 is way off the mark. The 79000 range came long after the "Louis Lachenal" era (up to 1873), well into the "Lachenal & Co" era thereafter. My best estimaate for the year of manufacture is circa 1884.

Thank you for that, I appreciate it. I’ll take it apart and double check the number inside when I get it hand.  I have another Lachenal too.  I’ll check and see what the number is on that one.

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Posted (edited)

Im restoring this Concertina here 

 

 

Edited by Seth
To correct link

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On 5/1/2019 at 10:52 AM, saguaro_squeezer said:

 

 

There is also Joseph Riley, 

 

CCCF7C03-A232-4E56-A51B-AD3301CD3107.jpeg

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On 5/3/2019 at 6:55 AM, Frank Nocera said:

Congratulations on getting the Lachenal. In the end I decided not to bid on it, as I really want a 30 button Anglo and believe I will be better off to find one that has already been restored by a well-known restorer.

 

The Riley / Lachenal is restored.  You might be glad you didn’t get it if you were set on a C/G instrument as it’s tuned to A/E.  The Riley stamp is barely visible after restoration and I just stripped the finish, no sanding, so it mustn’t have been stamped after the instrument was made and finished.  Anyways, it’s a nice little box and was fun to restore. The tuning was a complete surprise too which threw me off for a bit when I started tuning.

180A3AC6-1667-4465-873E-DCE48C557608.jpeg

B5AE6690-93E1-425E-A793-E52D1D86D650.jpeg

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Nicely done, Seth. And you are correct, as a total newbie I would have not liked finding out it was A/E.  I opted to buy a new Swan by Paraic McNeela. As a learning instrument it will be fine for me for a couple years. My only wish is that the buttons were larger, as on the Lachenal.

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I have several Lachenals and you would be surprised at how the bottoms size varies from one to the next.  The English ones have even smaller buttons.  This Riley Lachenal has the largest buttons I’ve seen on a Lachenal comparable with a Jones set I have which also has 20 buttons.

 

That Swan looks nice, are the bellows all leather?  

Cheers, Seth

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