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Jewish Leprechaun

The 5-inch Jeffries: Fact or Legend?

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So I'm curious to see a picture of one of these 5-inch 30 button Jeffries.  I saw them mentioned here in section "(b) the instruments":

https://www.concertinajournal.org/articles/charles-jeffries-and-his-sons/

 

Has anyone ever seen one of these?? Does anyone have any pictures or any experience playing one?  I'm curious how they sound and play compared to full-sized Jeffries (small concertinas always have fascinated me).

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Jewish Leprechaun said:

So I'm curious to see a picture of one of these 5-inch 30 button Jeffries.  I saw them mentioned here in section "(b) the instruments":

https://www.concertinajournal.org/articles/charles-jeffries-and-his-sons/

 

Here you are then:

 

517068882_JackieDalyconcertina.thumb.jpg.d0fdacd6a7efe0e1bd1201c39a710eaa.jpg

 

This is the one my late friend Paul Davies used to play, until he sold it to Jackie Daly in the mid-'70s.

 

Quote

Has anyone ever seen one of these?? Does anyone have any pictures or any experience playing one?  I'm curious how they sound and play compared to full-sized Jeffries (small concertinas always have fascinated me).

 

I've seen 3 or 4 of them, in 50 years. Paul Davies had two of them in the '70s, the original one (above) with replaced bellows, and then one in better condition with its original gold-tooled bellows - so he kept the second one, but swapped its Bb/F reeds for the C/G ones in the first. Only, if I remember rightly, Jackie Daly then retuned the Bb/F reeds to G/D, which is both drastic and irreversible...

 

Like other small concertinas, the Jeffries ones are loud, bright in tone, and have a fast response.

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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And here it is being played, from his 1977 album on Topic,  "Music From Sliabh Luachra"  (the picture in the above post is from that album so I assume that's the instrument we're hearing).  "Callaghan's Hornpipe" is the tune.

 

 

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5 hours ago, jwinship said:

And here it is being played, from his 1977 album on Topic,  "Music From Sliabh Luachra"  (the picture in the above post is from that album so I assume that's the instrument we're hearing).  "Callaghan's Hornpipe" is the tune.

 

Only your link comes up as "Video unavailable" when I click on it, so here's another link that does work for me:

 

 

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8 hours ago, Stephen Chambers said:

I've seen 3 or 4 of them, in 50 years. Paul Davies had two of them in the '70s, the original one (above) with replaced bellows, and then one in better condition with its original gold-tooled bellows - so he kept the second one, but swapped its Bb/F reeds for the C/G ones in the first. Only, if I remember rightly, Jackie Daly then retuned the Bb/F reeds to G/D, which is both drastic and irreversible...

 

Like other small concertinas, the Jeffries ones are loud, bright in tone, and have a fast response.

 

Would you say there are drawbacks to building a 30 button that small, like limited dynamic range or stiff action (from too-short levers)? Is the keyboard spacing standard or did they move the buttons closer together? It would be interesting to see internal pictures of the reed pans and action to see how they did it.

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My link to the Jackie Daly tune works on my computer; Stephen Chambers' link, which is identical, says "video unavailable" to me.  Oh the Mysteries.....

 

I hope that the two links end up covering the waterfront.  Daly's concertina playing is so strong and, by most contemporary ITM standards, so unadorned that it's really worth hearing.

 

Thanks to Jewish Leprechaun for raising the topic and to Stephen Chambers for that interesting background on the instrument.

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Oh the Mysteries

 

Probably a matter of geography. Steve's link worked for me.

 

Jackie showed me the concertina, twenty years ago and said it came from Paul Davies.

 

Jackie joined myself and Kitty Hayes on occasion, when we played. He'd bring a C box of use a concertina, if there was one at hand.

 

Some of you will be familiar with the story of him playing the concertina and someone coming up saying 'Jackie, Jackie, I didn't know you could play the concertina'. 'Ofcourse  I can' he shot back 'Anyone can play the concertina'.

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12 hours ago, alex_holden said:

 

Would you say there are drawbacks to building a 30 button that small, like limited dynamic range or stiff action (from too-short levers)? Is the keyboard spacing standard or did they move the buttons closer together? It would be interesting to see internal pictures of the reed pans and action to see how they did it.

You're reading my thoughts right there, Alex! Surely there are some drawbacks squeezing it all in to a package that small (air volume aside).

 

21 hours ago, Stephen Chambers said:

I've seen 3 or 4 of them, in 50 years. Paul Davies had two of them in the '70s, the original one (above) with replaced bellows, and then one in better condition with its original gold-tooled bellows - so he kept the second one, but swapped its Bb/F reeds for the C/G ones in the first. Only, if I remember rightly, Jackie Daly then retuned the Bb/F reeds to G/D, which is both drastic and irreversible...

 

Like other small concertinas, the Jeffries ones are loud, bright in tone, and have a fast response.

Much appreciated Stephen this is some great information, quite rare beasts!

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While i cannot personally confirm that it was exactly 5” across, there was a small 30 button Jeffries concertina at the 1997 NE Squeeze-In IIRC and that instrument belonged to Noel Hill. That same instrument was featured at the time in Big Nick’s Concertina Guide on the web but the guide is no longer posted. Never heard it play but I can vouch for it’s existence.

 

Ross Schlabach

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On 6/24/2020 at 4:59 PM, RP3 said:

While i cannot personally confirm that it was exactly 5” across, there was a small 30 button Jeffries concertina at the 1997 NE Squeeze-In IIRC and that instrument belonged to Noel Hill. That same instrument was featured at the time in Big Nick’s Concertina Guide on the web but the guide is no longer posted. Never heard it play but I can vouch for it’s existence.

 

Ross Schlabach

If this is what you're referencing, it looks like Bob managed to save it on his website!

 

http://hmi.homewood.net/bnick/anglo.htm

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7 hours ago, Jewish Leprechaun said:

If this is what you're referencing, it looks like Bob managed to save it on his website!

 

http://hmi.homewood.net/bnick/anglo.htm

 

It's hard to see much detail in the photo, but it could be the same design as the one in @Stephen Chambers earlier photo. The rows appear to me to be closer together than normal, and very near to the front/top (depending on your perspective). This implies a different internal layout from the standard 6" Jeffries 30b, because there wouldn't be room for the pads around the front end.

 

Also, the earlier photo appears to show a truncated (4 buttons?) outer row on the left hand, and a left thumb button. My guess is this was done for reasons to do with action layout difficulties.

5inch.jpg

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, alex_holden said:

It's hard to see much detail in the photo, but it could be the same design as the one in @Stephen Chambers earlier photo. The rows appear to me to be closer together than normal, and very near to the front/top (depending on your perspective). This implies a different internal layout from the standard 6" Jeffries 30b, because there wouldn't be room for the pads around the front end.

 

Also, the earlier photo appears to show a truncated (4 buttons?) outer row on the left hand, and a left thumb button. My guess is this was done for reasons to do with action layout difficulties.

 

Here's a clearer rendering of Big Nick's photo Alex, showing three rows of five buttons each:

 

1098944288_Jeffries5inch.jpg.46ae1c66f1efa562ff6e6f5ebfc337c6.jpg

 

We're still under lockdown here at the moment, though that's expected to end soon. I'll try and get to see Jackie Daly once I can get to Clare again, and see if I can examine/photograph Paul Davies' old one after all these years.

 

 

 

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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Alex, you put the green marks in the wrong place. If you look carefully on either side of his second finger, you can see the edges of two buttons which would properly align with the rest of your green marks to create a uniformly spaced outer row. When Jeffries created 28 or 26 button instruments, he left off the top button on each outer row and shifted the remaining buttons toward the upper side (closest to the thumbs). I have a 28 button Bb/F and had a 28 button C/G with that pattern, have friends with 26 button models and I never have seen any <30 button Anglo Jeffries with the uneven button spacing you have suggested. Though I haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, but I believe it is highly unlikely.
 

Ross Schlabach 

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On 6/23/2020 at 6:05 PM, alex_holden said:

 

Would you say there are drawbacks to building a 30 button that small, like limited dynamic range or stiff action (from too-short levers)? Is the keyboard spacing standard or did they move the buttons closer together? It would be interesting to see internal pictures of the reed pans and action to see how they did it.

Alex, I have detailed pictures from a 5” 30key Lachenal C/G owned by Greg Jowaisas. The most interesting thing about the action is the shape of the pads; to crowd all 30 in they need to be small so they made them square sided rather than round to increase the area. The reeds are also, if I recollect rightly, a shorter scale. I have done some work drawing up a similar instrument but until there are more than 24 hrs in the day etc...

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6 hours ago, RP3 said:

Alex, you put the green marks in the wrong place. If you look carefully on either side of his second finger, you can see the edges of two buttons which would properly align with the rest of your green marks to create a uniformly spaced outer row. When Jeffries created 28 or 26 button instruments, he left off the top button on each outer row and shifted the remaining buttons toward the upper side (closest to the thumbs). I have a 28 button Bb/F and had a 28 button C/G with that pattern, have friends with 26 button models and I never have seen any <30 button Anglo Jeffries with the uneven button spacing you have suggested. Though I haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, but I believe it is highly unlikely.

 

You could be right. I was assuming his finger was over one button rather than between two. That doesn't explain the presence of a left thumb button though - does this instrument have 30 buttons plus a drone?

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6 hours ago, Stephen Chambers said:

We're still under lockdown here at the moment, though that's expected to end soon. I'll try and get to see Jackie Daly once I can get to Clare again, and see if I can examine/photograph Paul Davies' old one after all these years.

 

Thanks, that would be very interesting!

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2 hours ago, Chris Ghent said:

Alex, I have detailed pictures from a 5” 30key Lachenal C/G owned by Greg Jowaisas. The most interesting thing about the action is the shape of the pads; to crowd all 30 in they need to be small so they made them square sided rather than round to increase the area. The reeds are also, if I recollect rightly, a shorter scale. I have done some work drawing up a similar instrument but until there are more than 24 hrs in the day etc...

 

That's interesting. It implies unusually narrow chambers.

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