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1942 unrestored 48 button Aeola treble worth


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After calling last night, I just dropped by the store and showed the owners a playable unrestored concertina I recently purchased for $300.

 

I was sure there would never be a sale between us however I was still curious to see if it had brass or aluminum reeds and what type of chambers, etc. I wanted to help answer the questions here and felt sorry for this neglected 80 year old instrument sitting in its case for maybe 50 years and the unconditioned bellows being played and maybe cracking.  Instruments need to be loved!

 

i was willing to make a high as possible offer myself if everything checked out but we never got to that point.  I had let it go already but all the interest on c.net made me curious again.

 

The concertina is a difficult instrument when it comes to buying and selling and even getting parts and working with restorers because even though not that popular, the supply is quite low and many are very old and appeal to collector enthusiasts with the money who are hoarding them as antiques.  I was once sent a photo of a full book case displaying their one of each tortoise and amboyna collection. All I could think about was those poor lonely instruments and the musicians struggling to get something decent including myself at that time.  In the 50s and 60s you couldn’t give concertinas away (like an old upright piano today) and they were being given a quick tuning with a dremel destroying the reeds but now it’s unbelievably hard as a player to get a decent unmolested instrument at a good price.  I’ve been a musician for 40 years and am often surprised I made it with the concertina because of all my initial hassles and expensive mistakes.  Buyer beware!  I feel really discouraged today!

 

In the end, i think it is better just to buy from a private individual for an unrestored instrument or just bite the bullet and get a fully restored concertina once you know the concertina is for you.  Just let one come to you.  Be patient.  I am starting to ask myself if these rescue missions are worth it and just have to let them go.

 

Sorry, no photos of the inside.

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Edited by 4to5to6
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I ended up buying this concertina after the store called me late at night a few days ago with a very low offer.  So bizarre!  I let it go but it came back to me.  I opened it up at the store to see what type of reeds, etc. and it was absolutely spotless with zero rust and it played much better than at my first visit with no notes sounding, just stuck reeds.  

 

Brought it home... after a little bit of Connolly hide care and cleaning out a bunch of debris that had caused the pads to stick open and to clog reeds, it now plays really well.  One squeaky reed left to tweak and a slightly leaking pad still but it’s a real winner.  And to my complete surprise it is in factory modern A440 concert pitch!  An unmolested Wheatstone Aeola with factory tuned modern pitch reeds!  What s find.  I guess the multiple notes sounding threw off my tuner when I first checked it.  With some research, it appears wheatstone changed over to A440 in 1939.  I will have to go through the ledgers to see if there are any notes on the old / new pitch change over.  It was really out of tune with itself at first but after only two days it is almost perfect.

 

I’m still breaking it in again but it is really coming to life.  Loud and responsive, not shrill at all. Very pleasant tone and balance.  A winner!  Very smooth yet very responsive in only two days playing after all the neglect.  Best loud/soft dynamic control of any concertina I’ve ever played... so much expression and control!  Bellows is really loosening up with Connolly.  It has always been in one family since new so I guess I’m the second owner.  The store doesn’t count :).  Steel reeds with brass shoes.  Some curled valves but no big deal.  Bonus 8 fold bellows with no leaks or wear.  Wow!  Mid wartime 1942 was a good year for concertinas after all.  I would like to know more about this Wheatstone era.

 

All is well that ends well!  Thanks for all the comments and all the help.  A few photos of the inside attached below.  I will also attach a few photos of the outside once it’s polished up a bit better.

 

DDF1CBAC-F9AF-4C40-BF4D-79898723F800.jpeg

 

D809FAAB-696C-4A47-8189-F489C2EAC59E.jpeg

Edited by 4to5to6
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Button is now fixed.  I didn’t notice it at first.  I’ll continue to tweak things as they come up.  A few pads may need changing too but I’m hoping they wii seat in again and some curled valves and a few sticky end plate bushings but I’ll just play it as is for now to see how it continues to wake up.  I’ve been doing full range chromatic scales up and down on push and pull to get all the reeds working again.  So far, really impressed at its expression with its tone and superior dynamic range.  Not what I expected from my first initial impression. My musician wife was smiling away last night admiring my playing which doesn’t always happen. 😞   It’s finally getting the love it deserves after many years of neglect. :)

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Edited by 4to5to6
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