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Leather valves cut short

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I have a 1928 octagonal Wheatstone Baritone/Treble English concertina needing some work on its leather valves. The highest 5 or 6 of notes have both their valves cut short exposing some of the opening.


I believe this is original.  Was it done to avoid excess pressure on such tiny "brass" reeds with those large bellows?


All the Best


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In some cases when this is not done the high reeds won't sound at all, its because the air pressure just causes them to choke too easily - as due to the size of the reed its set very low comparatively to the lower pitched reeds. If you partially cover the slot it allows some of the air pressure to escape through that slot (passing through the reed on the other side without causing a sound) and the reed wont choke. On some instruments you see the chamois gasket removed from the high reed chamber end partition - if I remember this is done for the same reason. 


Its just one of the old tricks of the trade people used to employ - it works though.

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