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Anyone come across a dealer F Wilkes? F Wilson? or simialr, around 1870's -1890's?

Mike Jones

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Purchased another cheap 20k Mahogany  Lachenal Anglo the other day, number 50418. It has an impressed mark on the RHS for F Wilkes? F Wilson? F Wicks? possibly somewhere around the Nottingham area? Anyone come across this dealer or a dealer of a similar spelling. The impressed mark is only legible for the F, W and k letters so I'm not holding out much hope. A very quick internet search didn't come up with anything like the names I've summised.


The reed pans are stamped M Howson's, Steel Reeds, 43 Goose Gate Nottingham.  I see from the same bit of research, Howson's were in business in the late 19th into the early 20th century so presumably some repairs or changes were done to the instrument between those dates (there are some references on the Horniman's website for M Howson) I suspect that the reeds were retuned from C/G to Bb/F about that time and/or possibly changed from Brass to Steel. Certainly the reeds look to be very clean, are all Lachenal from what I can tell, marked as the C/G sequence and appear to be untouched since. Large lumps of Solder were added to the lower notes to enable them to sound at the correct pitch.


I've now converted it to Brass reeds and the Steel ones are either being re-tongued or used in another Lachenal I own, a 24k C/G which could become my outdoor wet weather morris box.


Thanks for any information



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