Jump to content
Myrtle's cook

Auction lot - Wheatstone & Co specially commissioned concertina with Jeffries fingering and interesting ICA provenance

Recommended Posts

I thought this might be of interest (the sale has nothing to do with me):

 

https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/gardiner-houlgate/catalogue-id-srgard10135/lot-a0a96f76-501d-4578-9d34-ab0c00fa115d

 

Quoted from auctioneers description:

 

Fine and rare C. Wheatstone & Co specially commissioned large concertina with Jeffries fingering, circa 1951, stamped C. Wheatstone & Co, Inventors, Patentees & Manufacturers, Concertinas & Aeolas, London to one side and bearing the serial number 30740 to the other, with sixty-four metal buttons on pierced foliate ends, eight-fold bellows, original leather case *This concertina has remained in the same family by descent since it was specially commissioned from J.A. Travers, Concertina & Accordion Specialists at Castle House, Enmore, Near Bridgwater, Somerset by James Henry Harvey who was a lifetime member and secretary of the I.C.A. The instrument is sold with two letters of provenance to this effect

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew Jim Harvey in the 1970s and visited his home several times. He told me then that he used to play the Jeffries duet, and that he'd had Jeffries convert his 4-row Anglo into their duet system.

 

This instrument must have been bought secondhand by him in 1951, because the ledger lists #30740 as a 68-key "A.G.Duet" made in October 1925.

 

I thought it looked much too nice to have been made post-war!

 

Edited to add: And it has 68 keys, as the ledger states, not 64 like it says in the auction listing.

 

Edited by Stephen Chambers
Edited to add link.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Stephen Chambers said:

...and that he'd had Jeffries convert his 4-row Anglo into their duet system.

 

different from usual then (just the other way round)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth,  My Wheatstone /Jeff duet #32045 listed as December 1928 doesn't have the A. G. or anything other than "duet".  The pattern is a bit unusual and the reed pan is radial but it doesn't appear to be a conversion.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if, like some other A.G. Duets that have turned up, this one might have been made with Anglo fingering and a row of unisonoric basses?

 

Perhaps what was "specially commissioned" in 1951, by Jim Harvey, was the instrument's conversion to Jeffries duet fingering?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim Harvey & his son Maurice and AN Other playing(Geoff Crabb will know his name), probably at an ICA event in the late 1950's.Like Steve I knew Jim from the 1970's. I have another photograph of Jim and a friend playing Jeffries Duet's in the 1920's but it is too large to be attached. Jim also told me that a number of his friends had their anglo's converted into Jeffries duets in the 1920's.Jim found me my first anglo  in 1974,which I still play.

 

004_cr.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I count 68 (+1air) buttons not 64 with 5 rows on the Right hand.  I'd guess a very large overlap region.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And a well-played instrument at that - look at the wear around the buttons. Recordings, anyone?

 

Mark, would it be ok to include this photo of Jim Harvey in the upcoming Jeffries Duet Tutor I'm working on?

 

Great stuff, and very timely!

 

 

Gary

 

PS - In March 1928 Wheatstone #31850 "Anglo Duet" had 70 buttons, perhaps the largest Jeffries Duet ever made. Maybe this beast will also turn up some day...

Edited by gcoover

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone have an idea what the 5th (+1 below) row of buttons on the right hand side would be for?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, wunks said:

Does anyone have an idea what the 5th (+1 below) row of buttons on the right hand side would be for?

 

If, as I've already suggested, this one was indeed originally made as an Anglo then that row would have consisted of unisonoric bass notes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt it was ever an Anglo, since the ledgers call it an "Anglo Duet". An Anglo that size would be the most unwieldly one ever!

 

I've been in contact with the auction house folks and have sent them a 61-button Wheatstone layout in hopes they can fill in that mysterious 5th row on the bottom of the right side. I'll keep you posted.

 

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, gcoover said:

I doubt it was ever an Anglo, since the ledgers call it an "Anglo Duet". An Anglo that size would be the most unwieldly one ever!

 

The ledger calls it, and several more of them, an "A.G. Duet" and I know of other examples (some of which have been discussed here in the past) that are indeed very large Anglos with a bass row such as I've described - I'm not guessing or making this up...

 

In the thread Wheatstone anglo special gavdav said:

Hi all - in response to Steve's questions and my own curiosity I started looking through the Wheatstone ledgers to see how many of these things exist(ed). Now, the ledgers are nto very consistent in their labelling of things - I own 30995 and 30998 and both are distinctly the same system - three anglo rows and one duet row - but one is labelled AG Duet and the Other AG Octo - so I have included here a few of the unusually large anglos I spotted as well, like Steve's. I'd be interested if anyone has one of these and can pass on any more info, but here is half an hour's worth of trawling.

 

If, as someone suggested, the AG duets were in fact Jeffries system duets, does anyone own a wheatstone Jeffires Duet to help confirm this supposition?

 

Sadly steve - you're not unique :) And I think 31693 is currently leading the boxzilla stakes.I've included a bit of info - what the ledger refers to em as, how many keys and if I know who has it :) Be nice if anyone wants to or can add to this.

 

28474 -48 keys (AG)

28493 – 48 keys (AG special) (Tony – Doodle on c.net)

28898 – 50 keys

28929 - 50 keys

28930 – 61 keys (AG special) owned by Steve Gardham

30096 – 48 keys (AG Duet)

30740 – 68 keys (AG Duet)

30995 – 46 keys (AG Duet) owned by Gavin Davenport G/D

30998 – 50 keys (AG Octo – AG Duet system) owned by Gavin Davenport C/G

31282 – 72 keys (AG Octo)

31693 - 74 Keys (AG mag octo)

31850 – 70 keys (Anglo duet)

31902 – 54 keys (AG duet octo)

32087 – 64 keys (AG octo)

32286 – 56 keys (AG Duet, octo)

32557 – 53 keys (AG Duet all over metal)

 

Edited by Stephen Chambers
Edited to add link.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stand corrected about the large Anglos - looks like Steve Gardham's W28930 (1921) at 61 buttons might be the largest we know of, although there are two other ledger entries:  W31282 (1926) at 72 buttons and W31693 (1927) at 74 buttons that are listed as "A.G" but no mention of "duet". Mighty beasts either way.

 

It looks like there are eight instruments in the Wheatstone ledgers listed as "A.G. Duet or Anglo Duet" from 1924-1930, and there are two others that are definitely Jeffries Duets - W29112 (1922, listed as "Duet NP Octo Special) and W32045 (1928, listed as "Duet Hex NP flat"). I've personally played W29112, and it is likely the first Wheatstone-made Jeffries Duet. W32045 is owned by Wunks and looks like it might have started out life intending to be a different duet but was actually made into a Jeffries system duet.

 

So of the ten by Wheatstone, we now know the whereabouts of five of them (including Gavin Davenport's that was later converted to Anglo). Not too bad considering they were built a hundred years ago. Perhaps some of the others are still in the Harvey family? Maybe even in that 1950's photo?

 

Greg Jowaisas told me he has never heard of a Lachenal Jeffries Duet - anybody ever seen one?

 

Gary

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/26/2019 at 4:36 PM, Mark Davies said:

Jim Harvey & his son Maurice and AN Other playing(Geoff Crabb will know his name), probably at an ICA event in the late 1950's.

 

AN Other =Tommy Williams

Early 1950's

Jim Harvey Maurice an Tommy Williams 2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Geoffrey!

 

I read somewhere that Crabb had made at least one Jeffries Duet - do you have recall as to what size or when that might have been?

 

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr. J A Travers mentioned in the first post, was a dealer and repairer who had been in the business for a long time, and knew many of the early players. He wrote articles which appeared in Accordion Review, and gave a lot of encouragement to new players, including the late Reuben Shaw. He was prominent in the founding of the ICA, but unfortunately died just before the ICA was actually formed. There are letters in the ICA Archive between him and Reuben Shaw and Jack Clevoner. I've had no luck tracking down any local knowledge of him, but his business was based in Bridgewater, Somerset  - formerly at 25 Taunton Rd, it was at 7 West Street by December 1949. So the "Castle House,  Enmore,  Near Bridgwater" address is 1950/1.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...