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56 Key Wheatsone Concertina


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I have a 56 Key Wheatsone Concertina, serial 28042 and I am wondering what the approx value of this might be and where best to sell to someone who really appreciates?
Instrument is in Canada.
Any advice appreciated, thanks.








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Welcome to Cnet Rednal


Your concertina is a Wheatstone 'Aeola' tenor treble English concertina. The tenor treble range is probably the most useful for most of us English Concertina players. The 'Aeola' (8 sided rather than the traditional six sided instrument; although early aeola examples are six sided - but that's a whole different story) was Wheatstone's top range in it's day. Your example was made in 1919 (see the manufacturer's ledger page: http://www.horniman.info/DKNSARC/SD01/PAGES/D1P1220S.HTM). This is generally regarded as a 'good' period for this range. I have an example made within a few weeks of your own and it certainly plays extremely well.


In terms of value this hinges on condition, and much of this relates to it's internal state, in particular the reeds which are the heart and soul of the instrument. Reeds can become damaged through rust, aggressive filing for tuning etc. Fully restored decent examples usually sell in the UK for around £3400-3900 (sterling) - with the subtler nuances of price often depending on how the instrument plays and of course what the seller thinks they can get for it. Most older instruments will require work, as a minimum new pads, new valves and retuning. Any good concertina repairer/restorer will go through a rigorous examination process before undertaking any work and this may well identify other things that need putting right. As a guide, and from my own experience, the tuning, re-pad, re-valve, new thumb straps and some minor work on the bellows would come in at around £400-500 (sterling) - this sounds a lot, but it's time-consuming and fiddly work that requires quite a lot of skill and expertise. More things to fix, then more cost. Your alternative, of course, would be to sell it unrestored. A dealer would probably want to give it close inspection before suggesting a price, although there are some who might take a risk.


From personal experience I would say Cnet (this site) is a good place to sell, with the seller usually making a modest donation to the site to help keep it going when a sale is made. If you went down this route, I would suggest posting photos of the reed pans so that potential buyers have some idea the state of the reeds. It is not difficult to open the instrument up to get these photos, although it does take some knowledge, care and a methodical approach - and the right sized screw driver so as not to damage screw heads (which might then add significant cost to restoration)!. I think this will be described elsewhere on this site, or if not one of us can provide advice and guidance.


This could well be a great instrument that someone would really enjoy playing. it might have passed it's 100th birthday, but has the potential to give another 100 years with sympathetic care and some restoration.


Good luck!

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