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Posted (edited)

Hi. Recently I bought a concertina brand Lachenal. It has 26 buttons per side arranged in three rows on each side, two of 5 buttons and one of 3 buttons. In addition to the right side the air exhaust button.
It has the following inscriptions: "Lachenal & Co" "Patent Concertina Manufacturers London"
"English Made" "Trade Mark" "Steel Reeds"
The number is: 178403
Can anyone provide information?
Thank you.

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Edited by Francisco Escobar Bay
correct serial number

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It looks like a good rosewood ended 26 button anglo concertina.

What sort of information are you after?

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Posted (edited)

Hi, Mr. Peter. Thank you very much for your reply. I do not really have any information, this instrument I acquired from the heirs of the deceased owner. The owner's son posted it on a website and told me that he had never seen it or knew of its existence, they found it inventorizing the property of the deceased. Moreover, in my country there should not be many concertinas. I am a piano accordion performer and I was interested in acquiring the concertina to see if I can learn, I have little experience with diatonic instruments. I was measuring the tuning and for example in the second row from top to bottom is: C / B E / D G / F C / A   E / B, the first value when pushing, the second when pulling (right side).
I am struck by the 26 buttons because the ones I have seen on the Internet are 20, 30, 40 and more buttons. are those of 26 buttons common?
  I appreciate the comments.

Edited by Francisco Escobar Bay
clarify concepts

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10 hours ago, Francisco Escobar Bay said:

I am struck by the 26 buttons because the ones I have seen on the Internet are 20, 30, 40 and more buttons. are those of 26 buttons common?

 

Yes they are, sort of a budget (and light-weight) solution (in place of a "full" 30b instrument), see here f.i. - and I guess that's fine as long as the focus would be on playing melody; OTOH for added harmony the missing two buttons on the LHS are of the highest importance, as far as I'm concerned.

 

Best wishes - 🐺

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10 hours ago, Francisco Escobar Bay said:

in the second row from top to bottom is: C / B E / D G / F C / A   E / B, the first value when pushing, the second when pulling (right side).

 

That's one of the "home rows" of a C/G Anglo concertina (tuned to the tonic, whereas the third row from top to bottom will be tuned to the dominant, i.e. G maj., in the higher octave), and the row to start with when new to the instrument; such an approach would be comprising the left hand side as well and is highly intuitive, like with a mouth harp - just give it a try (and include the G row at some point later)!

 

Best wishes - 🐺

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Dear Mr. Molkentin:
Thanks for your reply. I was finding out that in my country there is a pub where celtic musicians meet and there are eight groups that interpret it. However, the native instruments they use are mainly bagpipes, flutes and bodhran as well as guitars and keyboards. There is none that uses concertinas, although in one of them a bandoneon is used. We'll see if I can learn to interpret the concertina and get close to that group to try. What I'm doing now is listening to Irish music to see if I can capture the spirit that animates it, we'll see ...

I find it easier to adapt the concertina to the folk music of my country, which is what I currently do with my piano accordion. I have seen that in the Republic of Bolivia the concertina is used as a folk instrument (there are videos on YouTube). That use would be easier for me because I know the local rhythm.
Thanks again for the information.

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1 minute ago, Francisco Escobar Bay said:

I find it easier to adapt the concertina to the folk music of my country, which is what I currently do with my piano accordion.

 

You might in fact very well do that with the concertina too, I reckon it is perfectly suitable for that purpose (only that you might want to have 30 buttons at some point then, but in no way necessarily in the beginning of the journey).

 

And it's rather Wolf, if that is alright with you... 🙂

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Posted (edited)
On 7/10/2019 at 12:23 AM, Francisco Escobar Bay said:

...The number is: 17843...

 

I wonder if it is worth checking the number - is it actually  117843? I have one instrument where the leading '1' of the serial

number is hidden behind the edge of the oval hole in which the label sits. Just a thought, because it looks very much like

one of my instruments which has a much higher serial number. Very confusing...

Edited by lachenal74693

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Francisco Escobar Bay said:

 There is none that uses concertinas

If you go across the river I know of 3 young concertina players in Buenos Aires who are associated with the La Platta Comhaltas branch.           awbrown.ar@comhaltas.net

I met them a few years ago while I was on an extended stay in Argentina.  They were very interested in concertina, but none were available.  When I returned to Canada I found some good beginner instruments and sent them to Buenos Aires.  They have become very good players- I am amazed at the music they get out of their Rochelles.

 

Edited by Bill N
correct typo

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Dear Lachenal74693:
Thanks for the reply. You are right, I checked the number and the correct one is: 178403, which is clearly visible, I do not know how I could be wrong. I already corrected it in the first post so there is no confusion.

 

Dear Bill N. thanks for the information, I will see to establish contact with the Argentine friends. The same thing happened to me when I bought the banjo, in my city I did not find anyone who had one but clarifies my doubts by writing to people from Buenos Aires.
Thank you all.

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10 hours ago, Francisco Escobar Bay said:

...I will continue this page to see if I learn...

 

If you're on the learning curve, you could download Alan Day's Concertina Tutorial  (hosted by Don Taylor of this parish).

 

Also, there are some lessons on the Australian Bush Traditions web site.

 

English- and Australian- style playing - should be handy in Uruguay? 🙂...

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15 hours ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

yes, doesn't look much like a very early one...

 

The OP didn't actually ask, but I guess that the revised serial number puts the date as ~1920s? (There are others

here who are better qualified than myself to comment on that one.)

 

I was wondering what model it is? The pricelists on concertina.com mention 26-button instruments with 5-fold

bellows in paper-covered deal boxes, or 6-/7-fold bellows in mahogany boxes. This one appears to be 5-fold in

a mahogany box. Maybe those pricelists are not comprehensive...

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Looks like a very nice concertina  -  and could be a great player.

Looking at the Lachenal pricelist from c1920, it appears to be:

Newly Improved ….rosewood…five-fold….in mahogany box…..

The 20-key cost £4-7-0, 26-key £5-13-6.  The 30 plus-key models have 6-fold bellows.

May I say that those 20- and 26-key anglos were (and are) good quality instruments made with fine materials - finely-fretted rosewood ends, good steel reeds etc  and are not budget solutions in place of instruments with more keys.   

 A player may choose a fine 20 or 26 key deliberately.  There are some fabulous 26-key Jeffries and Crabb anglos around, as well as 20-key Jeffries and Wheatstones.  

I know of a couple of beautiful Lachenals (26-key anglo and 35-key English) that have have large scale reeds which could not be accommodated if there were more buttons/reeds, so there may be technical reasons why less is better.

Best wishes

 

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Francisco,

I estimate that No. 178403 was made in about 1908. The closest receipt of mine is a  March 1906 bill of sale for an instrument in the 169000 range.

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26 k Anglo instruments are fairly common, and they have the most used accidentals of their keying. The big question is, is the instrument in concert pitch, A=440hz, or is it around half a semitone sharp? You need to know this before tying to play with other people or learn tunes from CD's. If it is in old pitch, (1/2 semitone sharp) then it will need re-valving and probably re-tuning. I suspect that you don't have many concertina specialists, but if you can get one who is not an accordion repairer and has the right leather for the valves, and files rather than grinds reeds it would probably be best for the instrument 

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