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Granddaughter3

My grandpa’s concertinas

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My grandpa was a very big concertina player in the St. Louis, MO area over 50 years ago. I remember attending an event in Warsaw, WI when he was inducted into the concertina hall of fame. After his death in 1986, my dad safely stored his many instruments. Now, almost 35 years later those instruments are seeing the light of day again. My dad died almost two years ago, and my mom is uncluttering. Can anyone share some information with me on these instruments...[here are some pictures ](https://imgur.com/gallery/AEp4B0q)Are some easier to play than others? Are some just “decorative” or too valuable to play around with? Thank you in advance!

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Fascinating! Looks to my un-expert eye like some or most are in the Maccann duet layout - even one of the large square concertinas? I for one would like to hear more about the career of a cross-over musician, if indeed he played that system and was recognized by the folks at the hall of fame. Some of these instruments may indeed be valuable, compared to what you might be expecting.

 

Ken

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Hi Granddaughter3,

 

That's quite a collection.  The first three are Maccann layout, one of the two primary Duet systems.  The 4th is likely a Chemnitzer; was your Grandfather's name Andy? The 5th is a Hohner Single-row Melodeon.   

 

The Wheatstone #31898 is listed in Wheatstone Ledger SD02 page 086 as:

"Aug 31 - 40 - Mac Octo all over fret 72 - 98"

which I think means:

Built:  Aug, 1931

Type 40

Maccann, Octagonal, all over fretwork, 72 key.

 

Depending on condition, probably $2000 - $3000.

 

Does the wooden octagonal one have any name badge on the other side?

 

The 3rd, with the green pearloid and black ends looks like a modified Chemnitzer or Bandoneon.

 

Do you have any pictures of him playing them?

 

Kind regards,

Rod

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20 hours ago, saguaro_squeezer said:

Hi Granddaughter3,

 

That's quite a collection.  The first three are Maccann layout, one of the two primary Duet systems.  The 4th is likely a Chemnitzer; was your Grandfather's name Andy? The 5th is a Hohner Single-row Melodeon.   

 

The Wheatstone #31898 is listed in Wheatstone Ledger SD02 page 086 as:

"Aug 31 - 40 - Mac Octo all over fret 72 - 98"

which I think means:

Built:  Aug, 1931

Type 40

Maccann, Octagonal, all over fretwork, 72 key.

 

It isn't "Mac" for Maccann - something Wheatstone's had strong objections to, seeing that Charles Wheatsone invented the system originally. Rather it's "Mag" for Magnesium, an alloy one third lighter than aluminium/aluminum, that was used to make the lightest-possible instruments for stage use, and the reedframes (maybe also the lever mechanism) may be made of that metal too...

 

The music hall artist/impresario Percy Honri had a similar instrument with screwed "all over fret"/"to the edge" lightweight fretwork.

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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The gray pearloid one reminds me of the big square "Accordeophone" made by Lachenal, but I've never seen a Maccann duet version.

 

Gary

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19 hours ago, Stephen Chambers said:

 

It isn't "Mac" for Maccann - something Wheatstone's had strong objections to, seeing that Charles Wheatsone invented the system originally. Rather it's "Mag" for Magnesium, an alloy one third lighter than aluminium/aluminum, that was used to make the lightest-possible instruments for stage use, and the reedframes (maybe also the lever mechanism) may be made of that metal too...

 

The music hall artist/impresario Percy Honri had a similar instrument with screwed "all over fret"/"to the edge" lightweight fretwork.

Thanks, Stephen!  Got ahead of myself, there!

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