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Bill Crossland

An elaborate early Lachenal English #9952

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This Louis Lachenal instrument has just come in for conservation, but is amazingly original. The inlay work on the ends and around the sides is magnificent, and the buttons glass. The end construction is very similar to early Wheatstones, with the fretted ends and side panels removing in one piece 

 

There is a date inked on one of the bellows cards inside which is 6/12/75. Would that tie in with other date estimates for manufacture?

Lachenal 9952 End.jpg

Lachenal 9952 left.jpg

Lachenal 9952 Side.jpg

Lachenal date.jpg

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Posted (edited)

The choice of timbers and the look of the inlays (especially their incorporation of shamrocks!) remind me of some 19th century Irish "Killarney ware"/ "Killarney work" (furniture. boxes, etc.) that I saw recently, whilst the hand-cut fretwork and the construction of the ends is highly unusual on a Lachenal.  I'd wonder if they might have been outsourced, or even retrofitted? (And does it have Irish connections?) Mind you, the papers are highly unusual too.

 

Even my equally ornate ebony-ended Lachenal, #15347, probably made in 1865 (quite possibly for one of the Lachenal sisters when they toured Britain performing that year - Marie Lachenal is to be seen playing a similar one in two photographs)  has regular ends with machine-cut fretwork on it:

 

Chambers-Michaelstein-018-W400H300.jpg 

 

Chambers-Michaelstein-017-W300H400.jpg

 

I would suggest #9952 was probably made about 1862.

Edited by Stephen Chambers
Edited to add links.

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It was rediscovered in America nad now heading back to Mr Wayne's concertina museum

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Posted (edited)

Could it have created for a wealthy 19th century Irish-American then, I wonder Bill?

 

Killarney was already a popular tourist town in the mid-19th century, especially after the coming of the railway in 1854, and Queen Victoria in 1861, and hence the manufacture of shamrock-adorned souvenir "Killarney ware" there.

 

Or maybe the ends were made elsewhere in imitation of the Killarney style? The instrument may even have been an "Exhibition piece"...

 

But certainly later generations of Irish-Americans have gone for accordions decorated with shamrocks, harp and tricolour:

 

baldoni13row2.jpg

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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Posted (edited)
Quote

But certainly later generations of Irish-Americans have gone for accordions decorated with shamrocks, harp and tricolour:

 

 

Yes we get to see a few of those played occasionally. Here's one :

 

DSC-3345-small.jpg

 

Anders Trabjerg is another player who likes that sort of thing.

Edited by Peter Laban

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Yes, I'd get to see rather a lot of both Charlie and his 10-key, 6-voice,Walters, and Anders with his 13-key, 8-voice, Baldoni, Bartoli (the one in my photo) Peter. seeing that we regularly meet up.

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Coming back directly on topic  -  I forgot to mention a most unusual feature of #9952 Bill, in that there is no rebate around the endplates of it.

 

Though that feature continued to be left off on cheap instruments, it would otherwise be unheard of on a high-quality instrument by the 1860s - suggesting that the maker/inlayer of the ends was neither in the concertina trade, nor familiar with the design parameters for the ends of a high-quality instrument.

 

Do you have any pictures of the insides of the ends, showing how they are made?

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8 hours ago, Stephen Chambers said:

Coming back directly on topic  -  I forgot to mention a most unusual feature of #9952 Bill, in that there is no rebate around the endplates of it.

 

Though that feature continued to be left off on cheap instruments, it would otherwise be unheard of on a high-quality instrument by the 1860s - suggesting that the maker/inlayer of the ends was neither in the concertina trade, nor familiar with the design parameters for the ends of a high-quality instrument.

 

Or perhaps it was a aesthetic choice, to omit the moulding so they would have more room for the floral border inlays?

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Posted (edited)

I'm curious as to the wood species and ornamentation process.    It looks to me like a walnut veneer over some other wood (boxwood?).   The veneer being etched to enhance the fretwork and effect the floral border.  The insides look rather newish.

Edited by wunks
mere speculation

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3 hours ago, alex_holden said:

Or perhaps it was a aesthetic choice, to omit the moulding so they would have more room for the floral border inlays?

 

I find it very hard to imagine Lachenal building such a "showpiece"/"exhibition" instrument using the same construction methods employed for building the ends of cheap German concertinas Alex, instead of in the usual English manner. If they did actually build the instrument like this in the first place, I can only imagine it was as a special order for someone who supplied the ends to them ready-made, and that they did so under protest. Otherwise the ends may have been fitted retrospectively to a pre-existing instrument.

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, wunks said:

I'm curious as to the wood species and ornamentation process.    It looks to me like a walnut veneer over some other wood (boxwood?).   The veneer being etched to enhance the fretwork and effect the floral border.  

 

The ends of good quality concertinas are normally laminated (using thin sheets of wood glued together with the grain running crossways) for strength, and only cheap instruments normally had ends of solid timber.

 

Inlay work like this is done using thin veneers, carefully cut to shape and glued on as the top layer. If the ends were indeed made in Killarney, the light wood would be arbutus, and the dark one may be bog oak.

Edited by Stephen Chambers
Edited to add links.

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