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Lacewood Roylance


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This Roylance treble came back from Concertinas UK recently and may be of interest.

 

As always, Nigel Sture did a wonderful job of restoring, fettling and tuning, and he turned a wreck into a lovely concertina.

 

It came to me by chance.  I bought a couple of Lachenal 20 key anglos last year, and this English treble came with them in the cardboard box.  The fretwork was damaged and missing in places, the thumb and finger rests were gone, and a lot of the buttons were broken or lost.   

 

Not for me, I thought…..except, some of the reeds still played and sounded good.  So I opened it up and found top quality workmanship:  the action board and frames are lacewood (London plane), the ends are lovely solid Brazilian rosewood, all of the woodwork so carefully done, the buttons exquisitely turned, riveted action, all reeds present and in good shape, and no warping, splitting or internal damage.

 

I repaired the ends, frames etc and managed to piece together the remaining bits of the delicate gold foil label - tricky.

 

Nigel  Sture did the rest: bushings, straps and finger-rests, buttons, all new springs, pads, valves, setting up and tuning.

 

It has smart new bellows from Mark Adey, black and gold papers, plays effortlessly and sounds lovely.

 

For a singer, the evenness of response is superb.  When you start to play a chord of 5 or 6 notes very  quietly, every note sounds at exactly the same time, and you can sustain the chord for ages on one pull, and get lots of volume when you want it.

 

Decent reeds and, most of all, wisdom and expertise from Nigel Sture - fabulous work.

 

I don’t know whether lacewood is often used in concertinas, or what it contributes to the sound.  I know of it as a pretty native hardwood used for guitar back and ribs (rarely?).

 

Probably an expensive concertina when new, given the quality of materials and craftsmanship - I understand that the coloured buttons (black and white notes like a piano, and red Cs like a harp) were not confined to cheap tutor instruments.

 

Hope this is of interest.  I will try to post some images, and look forward to playing it a the folk club…. sometime…..

 

Cheers.

 

 

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