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Info/value request: Crabb made in 1950's


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Hi all,

 

The owner of this instrument has kindly offered to sell it to me. He asked me to say what I thought a fair price was so I want to harvest some research.

It is not the usual Crabb you see. I haven't seen the pattern on the metal ends before, but I could be wrong. The owner suggested that it may be a different model which was repaired by Crabb or through his shop in some way, hence the stamp.

 

Anglo, C/G

Bellows - according to owner, bellows are not best quality, but they play fine to me, I like the action. 

No drone
Made in 1950's according to owner, who bought it from Crabb (the younger?) in the shop in Islington in the 1970's.

 

Attached is an image of it next to a Jeffries and Lachenal. It is slightly chunkier than both, and the heaviest out of the 3.

 

Any and all information and a suggested value appreciated.

 

Tim

 

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IMG_20210418_182019.jpg

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According to an info sheet  prepared by Geoff Crabb this concertina would be a little older than the 1950s. See quote below:

 

"On metal ended instruments made for direct sale, a cartouche was included in the right hand fretwork for the name stamp:  J Crabb till approx.1908, then H. Crabb till approx. 1926, then H Crabb & Son to closure (1989)."

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59 minutes ago, Bill N said:

According to an info sheet  prepared by Geoff Crabb this concertina would be a little older than the 1950s. See quote below:

 

"On metal ended instruments made for direct sale, a cartouche was included in the right hand fretwork for the name stamp:  J Crabb till approx.1908, then H. Crabb till approx. 1926, then H Crabb & Son to closure (1989)."

Thanks ever so much Bill, much appreciated. So that would bring it closer to the value of most Crabbs you see? (€4-5000 in Ireland anyway)

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There haven't been a lot of similar sales here to base it on, but that would be the optimistic end of the range I think.  5 or 6 years ago a similar instrument went begging for a buyer at 2000 pounds.  

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On 4/18/2021 at 10:33 AM, Surly Boy said:

Hi all,

 

The owner of this instrument has kindly offered to sell it to me. He asked me to say what I thought a fair price was so I want to harvest some research.

It is not the usual Crabb you see. I haven't seen the pattern on the metal ends before, but I could be wrong. The owner suggested that it may be a different model which was repaired by Crabb or through his shop in some way, hence the stamp.

 

Anglo, C/G

Bellows - according to owner, bellows are not best quality, but they play fine to me, I like the action. 

No drone
Made in 1950's according to owner, who bought it from Crabb (the younger?) in the shop in Islington in the 1970's.

 

Attached is an image of it next to a Jeffries and Lachenal. It is slightly chunkier than both, and the heaviest out of the 3.

 

Any and all information and a suggested value appreciated.

 

Tim

 

IMG_20210418_182045.jpg

IMG_20210418_182025.jpg

IMG_20210418_182113.jpg

IMG_20210418_182032.jpg

IMG_20210418_182019.jpg

IMG_20210418_182016.jpg

 

"On metal ended instruments made for direct sale, a cartouche was included in the right hand fretwork for the name stamp:  J Crabb till approx.1908, then H. Crabb till approx. 1926, then H Crabb & Son to closure (1989)."

 

I'm sure that's true, but the fretwork pattern and the seller's story point to a later date.  Do you happen to have a serial number?  There may be one stamped inside the concertina even if there isn't one on the outside.

Edited by Daniel Hersh
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14 hours ago, Daniel Hersh said:

 

"On metal ended instruments made for direct sale, a cartouche was included in the right hand fretwork for the name stamp:  J Crabb till approx.1908, then H. Crabb till approx. 1926, then H Crabb & Son to closure (1989)."

 

I'm sure that's true, but the fretwork pattern and the seller's story point to a later date.  Do you happen to have a serial number?  There may be one stamped inside the concertina even if there isn't one on the outside.

Daniel, I will open it up today and get back to you. Thanks for the response.

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21 hours ago, Daniel Hersh said:

Do you happen to have a serial number?  There may be one stamped inside the concertina even if there isn't one on the outside.

 

I had a Crabb Crane with similar-looking fretwork, dated 1934. It had a number stamped on the left hand end in the oval at the top. In the photographs of this instrument it looks like that has broken off and a replacement crudely soldered in its place. So the number might be missing altogether.

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On 4/19/2021 at 6:40 PM, Daniel Hersh said:

"On metal ended instruments made for direct sale, a cartouche was included in the right hand fretwork for the name stamp:  J Crabb till approx.1908, then H. Crabb till approx. 1926, then H Crabb & Son to closure (1989)."

 

I'm sure that's true, but the fretwork pattern and the seller's story point to a later date. ...

 

I've found a photo of my Crabb duet which, as I said in my previous post, has similar (in fact very similar) fretwork. It has "H. Crabb" which would date it before 1926 but from the serial number (9155) Geoff Crabb dated it to 1934.

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I have a Crabb TT EC that has "H. Crabb Maker Liverpool Rd London" on the cartouche. 

 

From the number (14031) Geoff dated it as from sometime in the 1950s.

 

It is has raised metal ends with a similar, but much more ornate, version of the fretwork.

Edited by Don Taylor
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

OK, I'll draw attention to the elephant in the room.


The serial number (though Geoff Crabb doesn't use that term to describe the identification numbers that are typically found on Crabb concertinas like this) has been very specifically obscured, and not very artfully.

 

The only reason to do such a thing is if the instrument was stolen and there was an intent to conceal the evidence of its legitimate ownership.

 

I've been down this road many times before (first as a naive buyer, many many years ago, of a nice vintage Gibson guitar whose serial number I later discovered had been altered, and more recently as an appraiser of instruments). When buying used instruments for my shop, I was required by local ordinance to file a police report for each one that I purchased, with full records on the seller, in case the instrument was later found to have been stolen. Such "pawnshop laws" are common in the US (and often apply to any business that buys and resells used goods).  I remember having a very nice man bring in a beautiful Aeola he had just bought, wondering why the external serial number had been defaced and wanting to date it.  In that case I could show him the hidden Wheatstone serial number, but warned him that such knowledge could be a mixed blessing. And in fact there's another concertina out there that was stolen from me, 20 years ago, by a customer who never finished paying for it. . .

 

In some places it is actually illegal to buy or sell any item whose identification number has been removed or altered in any way.  That was the case in Berkeley California, where I bought the Gibson guitar, long before I had a business myself. *

 

But it's also true that sometimes stolen instruments are recovered by the original owner, then re-sold. If that's the case you would want a lot of documentation.

 

My best advice to you as potential buyer is 1) to research the history of this instrument in detail, 2) to take full information including a photo of ID and a signed bill of sale from the seller, if you buy it, and 3) to pay no more for this instrument than the scrap value of its parts, if you decide to go through with the purchase.

 

At least under US law (which naturally I know best), "you can't obtain title [ownership] from a thief," meaning that a stolen item may be reclaimed by the last legitimate owner prior to the theft.

 

If the concertina is located elsewhere, different laws may apply but similar ethical principles may be relevant.

 

Good luck!

 

PG

 

* For example:

https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/penal-code/pen-sect-537e.html

 

Edited by Paul Groff
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  • 3 months later...

It seems that although Surly Boy has visited this site multiple times since Paul’s post, the way in which follow-up on this thread abruptly ended has added to my own suspicions although I’m late to the game. I may be off base in my thinking and would love to know what really happened.  It all does seems to suggest that perhaps something is amiss.    Has anyone in Europe had a Crabb go missing that matches this instrument?
 

If I am wrong in pursuing this line of thinking publicly I will apologize and fully accept my deserved comeuppance. I’ll admit that I’m starting to lose my mental luster as I age, but having dealt with valuable merchandise for years myself, as Paul mentions, this just seems off.

 

Edited by JD Leedham
I felt some of what I originally wrote might give offense.
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