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Wheatstone Serial No. 2411 dating

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Doing a recent minor repair repair on my wife's Wheatstone I saw the serial number2411 inside the left hand reed pan, hand written in two places. This dates it to Aug 1851 according the the Horniman museum website. This is much earlier than we thought (on no particular evidence), so my question really is: is this definitive, or is it possible that the museum records refer to another instrument? The serial number is clearly written and hasn't been altered. The instrument has rosewood ends and plays well, having been refurbished/new bellows by Crabbs about 1972. Thanks for any comments!



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Hi Richard,

There are two types of numbers appearing on Wheatstone instruments - the serial number and the batch number. I suspect the number you've seen is a batch number, which were used to keep all the parts for a single instrument together as it was being made. Serial numbers were usually stamped into the parts, not handwritten.

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On 7/26/2022 at 12:47 AM, Stephen Chambers said:

You wouldn't get a 4-digit batch number.


I think we need photos of the fretwork, lever action, and reeds to try to identify it.

Yes, usually batch numbers are 3 digits or less, and also stamped into instrument. But maybe these handwritten numbers are from a repairer or someone similar, which is why I suggested a 'batch' interpretation of the numbers.

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