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Fully Restored George Jones 42-button


JimLucas
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This is a rare and very special instrument. The keyboard layout is the one described in George Jones' 1884 patent "Improvements in Anglo-German Concertinas".

 

oblique_s.JPG

 

I've come to really like this layout, but the instrument is built for bigger hands than mine, or at least longer, stronger little fingers. So it's time to sell it on, to someone who can make better use of it.

 

I've put details -- particularly description of the keyboard layout and its advantages -- and photos (inside and out) on a web page here. In the morning I plan to do some recording, so you can also hear what it sounds like.

 

I would like to get £1500 for this gem, but will consider any serious offer. If I don't get serious interest here within the next couple of days, it goes on eBay.

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Is the staight key line-up an ergonomic disadvantage? At first sight it seems so.

From previous discussions, as I recall, some people prefer straighter rows, bigger buttons, and/or wider spacing. I'm not one of them, and because of my short little fingers, I might prefer even more downward arc than usual on that outer end of the rows.

 

I think it depends very much on the size and shape of your hands, and maybe on whether you started out with a cheap German jobbie, so that you got used to straight rows and big, widely spaced buttons. Some folks complain about the close spacing and small size of the buttons on high-end, English-made anglos. Others, like me, would be happy if they were even a little smaller and closer. Most are quite happy with the standard, though they would have no difficulty with some shift in one direction or the other. After all, there are quite a few folks who can and do play both the tight-packed English and wide-open German/Italian instruments.

 

I think C.net member Alex Jones, who I believe has large hands (he reported that he has to curl the tips of his fingers under for buttons in the standard G row), might find this layout very much to his liking. (Of course, I could be wrong.) And surely he's not the only one who might like the opportunity to stretch long fingers.

 

For myself, the trouble is primarily my little fingers, which are about 1/3 (more than 3cm) shorter than my ring fingers. If they were 1-2 cm longer, I would have no problem. I think somebody reported (in the old Forum?) that many people have little fingers nearly as long as their ring fingers, and many more have little fingers that are much shorter, but that there don't seem to be many in between. I'm hoping this instrument will find a good home with one of the former, presumably one who is also into working up his/her own arrangements and would make good use of the chromatic capabilities.

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Oh dear, I find my little fingers are 35mm shorter than my ring finger, should I just look on it as a challenge? I am always astonished by Northumberland piper Andy May whose fingers are not only abnormally long and slender but also seem to be of the same length - it definitely gives a great advantage. On the same subject - Did anyone out there ever see blues pianist Memphis Slim play? Not only were his fingers the longest I have seen, but each one seemed to be independent of the others, it was quite spooky to behold, red.

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Oh dear, I find my little fingers are 35mm shorter than my ring finger, should I just look on it as a challenge?

Depends on how long your fingers are altogether, I think. And how you measure.

 

Measured from the V between my ring and little fingers, the ring finger is 82 mm and the little finger is 55 mm. If I bend the fingers at the base and measure from the knuckle there, I get 100 mm and 75 mm, respectively. But the knuckle of the little finger is just that little bit farther "in", closer to my wrist.

 

If all my fingers were longer, and the little fingers in the same proportion as they are now, then even being relatively short, they'd be long enough to comfortably reach the outer edges of this concertina.

 

As for people with long fingers, I've never seen those you mentioned, but I have seen my share. Sometimes I'm jealous, but then I wonder what the disadvantages might be.

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oblique_s.JPG

 

After some difficulties, I have managed to record a few sound files and add them to the web page for this instrument.

 

I'm not a virtuoso even on a smaller anglo, so they don't come close to displaying the true capabilities -- especially the chromatic capabilities -- of the instrument. But I hope they show that, in addition to the special keyboard layout, this is a very nice, very playable instrument by George Jones.

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  • 3 weeks later...
I think C.net member Alex Jones, who I believe has large hands (he reported that he has to curl the tips of his fingers under for buttons in the standard G row), might find this layout very much to his liking.  (Of course, I could be wrong.) 

And surely he's not the only one who might like the opportunity to stretch long fingers.

 

.. and I am happy to say that Mr. Lucas was correct! (It's all mine now) I find the straight rows much better for my hands, so I can play the notes on the end without having to curl my fingers for the G row.

 

Yes, this instrument had my name on it...well part of my name.

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  • 13 years later...

With only 6 hours to go there are 20 watchers but no bids. Presumably this will be a classic eBay auction with many bids in the last few seconds. I'm half tempted myself but realistically I wouldn't play it as I already have two C-Gs, both 40-key Wheatstone layout which I am very familiar with, and one of them a very good quality instrument.

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On 6/9/2005 at 9:40 PM, JimLucas said:

Depends on how long your fingers are altogether, I think. And how you measure.

 

Measured from the V between my ring and little fingers, the ring finger is 82 mm and the little finger is 55 mm.

 

Oh dear, just 67mm and 50mm for me. No wonder I prefer small instruments!

 

LJ

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On 6/8/2005 at 11:35 PM, JimLucas said:

This is a rare and very special instrument. The keyboard layout is the one described in George Jones' 1884 patent "Improvements in Anglo-German Concertinas".

 

oblique_s.JPG

 

 

Jim - out of interest I followed your link to the patent. Am I right in thinking that the button numbered 1 on the RHS has the bellows directions shown wrongly? Or is there some cunning advantage to it that I haven't spotted?

 

LJ

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  • 1 month later...
On 2/10/2019 at 6:49 PM, Little John said:

Jim - out of interest I followed your link to the patent. Am I right in thinking that the button numbered 1 on the RHS has the bellows directions shown wrongly? Or is there some cunning advantage to it that I haven't spotted?

 

It's more than a dozen years since I've had that instrument in my hands, so I can't say for sure from memory, but in looking at the patent illustration, I would say that you're right.

 

Those directions are opposite to what would be expected in that position in the 20-button "core" of any anglo, which is something I'm sure I would have noticed, and I don't remember noticing such a thing.  Also, if those directions were correct, there would be two push B's and two pull C's, but no pull B or push C in that octave anywhere on the instrument.  Considering that a major feature of that layout is that as many notes as possible are available in both bellows directions, that would be a serious violation.

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  • 2 years later...

I bought that Jones 42 button 'perfect' concertina through Ebay in 2019. It was in a bit of a state and Andrew Norman undertook a full refurbishment, including new bellows, later the same year. 

The Jones concertina is number 15381. Looking back through Concertina.net, it was also owned by Chrism in 2011. Jim Lucas owned number 22795 and gave an excellent description of it's construction and range in http://www.nonce.dk/Jones-42/.

I hardly ever play this concertina, so have put it up for sale on Ebay & Concertina.net (on 7th February 2022). I have added Jim Lucas' description of his 42-button Jones to each listing (with his permission), as it gives an excellent overview of this type of concertina.

If you are interested, please contact me.

Peter

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

In the hope that this will be useful for someone in the future, here's an interactive version of the layout, transcribed from the original 1884 patent diagram.

 

The diagram was maddening to read; Jones individually labeled each note as push or pull and didn't stick to a pattern. I found what I think is the sole typo in the diagram; the push note of the sixth button in the C row of the right-hand side should be E, not C.

 

Edit: as noted in the two comments after this one, there's a second error in the original diagram. I've corrected the interactive layout link above.

Edited by Luke Hillman
corrected layout link
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