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Mastertone Concertina - Where, When?


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Posted (edited)

 have a 20 button Anglo.  There's no name or logo on the instrument itself, but I have the original cardboard box it came in; hexagonal in shape, and the card is printed to look like wood.  There is a label which reads:  Mastertone Concertina Foreign and a dotted line following "Nr"  which is stamped 411.

I know that Gibson had trademarked the Mastertone term in the 1920s, and used it on their banjos, but having opened up the concertina, the quality of the workmanship is nothing like that one associates with Gibson.

Extensive web searching, both on "Mastertone concertina", and trawling through 100s of pictures of 20 button concertinas has found nothing.


The pictures I uploaded just came out as blocks of colour, so here's a link to the same pictures on imgur:   https://imgur.com/a/CnTGCy7

 

Please can anybody help?

Thanks.

 

mastertone-concertina-label-via_imgur-gimp--9OJ22Zj.png.3198390812baacf2ab64452ccc547156.png

 

362162758_Mastertone-end-via-imgurgimp--oFy3D44.png.0001c7a16a5eb91cf40e9bd4ab5107de.png

 

1277148489_Mastertone-bellows-imgurgimp--zjy1ZMI.png.167f4e369ab75fdb1b04fd398968bbd6.png

Edited by ReedAndWeep
successful upload of pictures - had to save jpg from imgur, save locally as png!
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I had an instrument with identical metal binding many years ago. I was told that it was from Germany. The use of Nr. for the "serial number" also suggests German manufacture. 

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9 hours ago, Milesy said:

 ... I was told that it was from Germany. The use of Nr. for the "serial number" also suggests German manufacture. 

Thanks for that - it's more support for the little I've found/guessed.

Whilst I've found nothing for Mastertone concertinas that give any provenance, date,  there are a few auction house records picturing Mastertone accordions in similar boxes, with similar typography on labels.  Those too are claimed to be German, and from the 1930s.

I wonder if the factory was destroyed/re-directed during WW2 and never emerged post-war as a musical instrument manufacturer of concertinas?

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Well, it sure looks like a German-made concertina! I guess one approach would be to ask, "who else made concertinas that look like that?" Has anyone seen an Italian concertina that looks like that? China makes similar looking instruments, but the box certainly doesn't suggest China.  I could imagine a company in Czechoslovakia. But I'd say "German, unless proven otherwise."

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Posted (edited)

I started on a fairly similar 20 key concertina. It was not master tone; it was "A concertina from Kligenthal" as it said on the box ..

I wonder if the master tone name is simply a model name rather than actual manufacturer?

Edited by SIMON GABRIELOW
Annoying auto correct put in wrong word!
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11 hours ago, Mike Franch said:

the box certainly doesn't suggest China

Here's a picture of the whole box, and the lid.  The base and top part of the lid are held to the rest of the structure with "L" shaped metal staples.

concertina-box.gif

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  • 3 weeks later...

The style of the instrument, and the "imitation woodgrain" cardboard box, is strongly reminiscent of Klingenthal in Saxony, a town located right on the Czech border.

 

The factories there weren't bombed, but were mostly destroyed by practices of the GDR (East German) regime.

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Snap, Many years ago some friends were coming to visit and picked this up in a charity shop en route. They thought it would be a bit of fun. It is in much worse condition than yours  but as mine  was was double reeded I hung on to it and it has been "a bit of fun". Regards David.

 

Mastertone.1.thumb.jpg.01e5ebd1aecee23f5f1b465338568640.jpg

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