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Morris music

Two English Concertinas - refurbish and sell or just sell as is?

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I have been handed two concertinas by a friend. I would like to ask whether it would be better to do them up before selling them (and, if so, who should I get to refurbish them) or should I sell them as is (and, if so, what should I ask for them).

The first is a Wheatstone 48 key treble with wooden ends and coloured keys. It has 4-fold bellows in reasonable condition and a full complement of steel reeds, some of which are slow to speak, all tuned about a quarter-tone sharp. The interior bears the name J. J. Vickers of Greenwich, London and the number 1774. The case is secure but could also do with some tlc.

The second is, I think, a 48 key Wheatstone tenor as it is larger than and tuned an octave lower than a treble but is also about a quarter-tone sharp. It has metal buttons and the 5-fold bellows are a bit worn but it has a full complement of steel reeds some of which are slow to speak. There is what I assume to be an air lever on each side but they don’t really do much. It bears the number 25278. The (probably original) black case needs work but is not so badly damaged that it could not be fully restored.

Your advice would be appreciated, please. Pictures are below but more are available on request. If someone would like a closer look, I live north of Birmingham, England.

IMG_0231.jpg

IMG_0225.jpg

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Hi "Morris", the larger instrument with the metal keys is very interesting, however it is a bit hard to believe that it is really tuned an entire octave below a treble (which would make it a baritone rather than a tenor) from the pic (the reeds would than have to be massively weighted ...). In either case it would be much sought after I reckon. I will stay tuned... 😁

 

Best wishes - 🐺

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5 minutes ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

... it is a bit hard to believe that it is really tuned an entire octave below a treble (which would make it a baritone rather than a tenor) from the pic ...

 

Best wishes - 🐺

 

I don't know about that - it looks fairly similar to my Wheatstone baritone which is 7 1/4" across the flats.

 

Either way, I would suggest selling this as it is. If it's sharp it's probably in old pitch and also mean-tone tuning which some people might wish to retain; or at least like to try out before deciding how much re-tuning to do.

 

LJ

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32 minutes ago, Myrtle's cook said:

However, according to the Wheatstone ledgers 25278 is a model '10 Baritone rosewood polished 48 [key]'

 

Thank you - should have look that up myself... 😁

 

And the info makes sense, as the instrument apparently has no raised ends and thus is the big brother of a model 5 treble (as I have a very -!- special model  6, which I'm now playing most of the time, I would be even more tempted by the equivalent model 10a baritone; but I can't justify acquiring another baritone anyway, and am indeed very satisfied with my Lachenal New Model baritone).

 

As this is quite a special instrument it might be good advice to get in touch wich Chris Algar - he might not only make an offer but indicate his anticipatory selling price following a thorough refurbishment, which of course would not exactly the asking price of a private seller...

 

Edited by Wolf Molkentin
adjective added

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Thank you for your comments. I confirm that it is an octave below my treble concertina (subject to the quarter-tone). The dimensions are as follows.

Each of sides of the hexagon is about 4.25 inches and it is 7.25 inches across the flats. For completeness the dimension from one side to the other is just under 6 inches (the keys and finger pieces stick out further than this) of which the bellows are about 1.75 inches. It does not have raised ends. Any further comments are welcome.

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45 minutes ago, Morris music said:

Thank you for your comments. I confirm that it is an octave below my treble concertina (subject to the quarter-tone). The dimensions are as follows.

Each of sides of the hexagon is about 4.25 inches and it is 7.25 inches across the flats. For completeness the dimension from one side to the other is just under 6 inches (the keys and finger pieces stick out further than this) of which the bellows are about 1.75 inches. It does not have raised ends. Any further comments are welcome.

 

So it's confirmed: you're having a Wheatstone (not Tenor but) Baritone English Concertina! 🙂

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In addition to Wolf's helpful suggestion of Chris Algar, you might also consider contacting Theo Gibb who is both restorer and dealer (he's a frequent and generous contributor to this forum). He also sells on a commission basis, potentially giving a seller a little more control over price. It might be that he could restore your concertina and then sell on a commission basis. His website is called 'The Box Place' - all details there.

 

I haven't sold via Theo, but he did restore a concertina for me and I was pleased with his work (by coincidence that was also a Wheatstone Baritone, although some decades earlier than yours) and enjoyed 'dealing' with him.

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49 minutes ago, Myrtle's cook said:

In addition to Wolf's helpful suggestion of Chris Algar, you might also consider contacting Theo Gibb who is both restorer and dealer (he's a frequent and generous contributor to this forum). He also sells on a commission basis, potentially giving a seller a little more control over price. It might be that he could restore your concertina and then sell on a commission basis. His website is called 'The Box Place' - all details there.

 

I haven't sold via Theo, but he did restore a concertina for me and I was pleased with his work (by coincidence that was also a Wheatstone Baritone, although some decades earlier than yours) and enjoyed 'dealing' with him.

 

I'd second that myself - and in case you should decide to have it restored on your own account, you might as well consider Nigel Sture of Devon, who has done some work on three of my concertinas, most notably tuning two entire English concertinas, all to my fullest satisfaction.

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Dave Elliott in Sheffield also does good work and has many restorations under his belt.

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These concertinas are now sold. Thank you for your comments. I will be making a donation to concertina.net.

Rod

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