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1942 unrestored 48 button Aeola treble worth

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I viewed a 1942 48 button Wheatstone Aeola today in a pawn shop.  It has very little playing wear but is unrestored and in old pitch.  It had been stored for maybe 60 years.  Pads are loose, notes are sounding, it fails hang test miserably.  It has 8 folds which seems a bit unusual.  Serial is 35404.  I wasn’t able to open it up but suspect it would have Lachenal parts.  Tone is decent, medium loud, maybe a bit shrill.  It has exceptionally good dynamics.

 

My question is on it’s worth.  What would be a reasonable offer for a later Aeola with little playing wear but completely unrestored?

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Edited by 4to5to6
Typo

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I  don't know  which    parts  might have  been recycled into  new  instruments by  Wheatstone's  after  they  had  bought  all the  stock  from  Lachenal & Co.,  but  perhaps  it is more likely  that  some of the  work  may  have  been  undertaken  by  ex  Lachenal  employees.

Materials, of  course,  would have  been in very  short  supply  during the  War.  and  it  is  likely  those few  concertinas  that  were made  (  the  ledgers  show  only about  40  instruments  for  1942)   could  have  been produced from  pre war  stock.

 

What  it will have  is  metal capped plastic  buttons  and  hook  action  but  not   the  Lachenal  type.  Perhaps  aluminium  reed  shoes, but  more likely  prewar  brass shoes.  as  I'm  sure  any  available  aluminium  would  be  going to  aircraft  production.

 

So, although  build  quality  and  materials  were  usually  not  up  to  1920's  standards  by  this  stage  , Wheatstone's  were still making a decent instrument  if  not  quite  with the finesse   of  their  finest  creations.

 

Allow  for  a full  service  and  the  unknown  effects on the  wooden parts  caused  by  any  climatic   extremes  in your part of  the world  then  factor in  a  percentage  value  for  these  late  models, perhaps   60- 70%  of  the  Top  Period  Value . ( Check  professional  values  with  The Button Box  or  Barleycorn Concertinas) .

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Thanks Geoff.  It is an untouched original even with the baffles still in place and really no visible playing wear so somewhat interesting to me.  I don’t think it will sell too soon as it isn’t a playable instrument as is and the shop is asking full price as if it were restored.  If I don’t purchase it then I hope it goes to a home that will appreciate and play it.  It may not be the instrument for me as I already have a top end tenor-treble and a model 22 both fully restored but you don’t see these come available in my area very often.  It would be interesting to see inside.  Maybe quickly glue in place the loose pads so I can play a tune on it.  I wasn’t overly impressed with the tone although it may just need to be played for a while to bring it back to life.  The dynamic range was extremely impressive so it could be an instrument with a lot of expression.

Edited by 4to5to6

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the hook action of the later Wheatstones doesn't  appear all-too-bad to me (my baritone treble Aeola has it, and I don't recognize any problems in this regard).

 

Edited by Wolf Molkentin

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On 10/10/2020 at 4:51 PM, 4to5to6 said:

I don’t think it will sell too soon as it isn’t a playable instrument as is and the shop is asking full price as if it were restored.  ...

 

 The dynamic range was extremely impressive so it could be an instrument with a lot of expression.

 

Sometimes you have to remember that monetary value is not the only thing to consider. Despite the possibility that this concertina may not be quite as good as the high quality 'golden period' of Wheatstones, it nevetheless looks to be a very nice concertina with (as you say) a great dynamic range, which suggests that the reeds are good. Overall it looks to have a lot of potential. 

 

I would suggest a couple of things:

Try to get a look inside to see the reeds. If the pads have fallen off due to being stored in a damp place, the reeds could be rusty and/or the reed frames corroded too. Mild rust can be cleaned off, but if any rust looks very bad , then walk away from it.

 

Try to negotiate a slightly lower price (I suspect you have done this already), but if unsuccesful, and if the interior and reeds are reasonably good, then perhaps buy it at their price anyway. You will then have control over a potentially very nice concertina. Yes, you will need to pay for the restoration and tuning, but it might be worth it on musical/playabilty and historical grounds. As I said at the beginning; it's not always all about money, sometimes you have to take a risk and pay a bit more.

Funny beasts, concertinas....

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