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Restoring Jeffries Leather Case


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Hello

 

I would like to restore the leather case that my Jeffries Anglo was found in. I would like to assume it is the original case but who knows. The concertina I believe is from around 1890 give or take. I would like to get the case back to having all its parts (it needs the back hinge, and the strap in front that would hang down and click into the circular lock hardware (which is intact), and possibly a carrying strap). I don't want to use it but just have restored for posterity, and not OVER restored.

 

One photo I have of a Jeffries case shows the bottom part of the case (not the lid). on the top edge or lip of the case there is stitching that goes all around the lip. It could be helpful or not to know, that mine does not have that stitching.

 

I have a few areas of curiosity.

 

1. Is there a recommended leather polish/conditioner for this type of leather case? It is hard and smooth. I wonder if this isn't the intended state for the function of case. Perhaps it is best to use just some soapy water and just clean the bit of grime off.

 

2. What is left of the front lock strap is just the part that is attached to the lid. It is cut or broken off just at the bottom of the lid. What is there is shaped like an "onion dome" coming to a point at the top. It is attached to the lid by a rivet! Not stitching like I have seen in other photos. I wonder if this helps to date the instrument?

 

3. The back hinge is even less intact. It seems that the leather hinge was part of the backside of the top and hung down. At the top of the case in the back are 2 rivets. The remains of the leather parts are between the rivets and the body of the case. Between these 2 rivets is a piece of leather that is attached vertically and stitched to the body of the case. This looks like it might be a carrying "strap", is torn and only about 1 inch long. Near the bottom of the backside of the case body is one more rivet holding what looks to be the end of the carrying strap, which is also stitched in. I wonder if this arrangement also helps to date the case and instrument?

 

I would appreciate anyone's bits of knowledge, and especially photos they might have of similar (or not) Jeffries cases so I know how to best reproduce the parts that the case needs to bring it back to completeness.

 

I might also be interested in the back and front appendages/appurtenances if someone has some to sell. (I know…another forum).

 

I hope my descriptions are useful. I could find a way to post some photos sometime soon.

 

Thanks a lot.

 

Richard

Edited by richard
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Hello

 

I would like to restore the leather case that my Jeffries Anglo was found in. I would like to assume it is the original case but who knows. The concertina I believe is from around 1890 give or take. I would like to get the case back to having all its parts (it needs the back hinge, and the strap in front that would hang down and click into the circular lock hardware (which is intact), and possibly a carrying strap). I don't want to use it but just have restored for posterity, and not OVER restored.

 

One photo I have of a Jeffries case shows the bottom part of the case (not the lid). on the top edge or lip of the case there is stitching that goes all around the lip. It could be helpful or not to know, that mine does not have that stitching. 

 

I have a few areas of curiosity.

 

1. Is there a recommended leather polish/conditioner for this type of leather case? It is hard and smooth. I wonder if this isn't the intended state for the function of case. Perhaps it is best to use just some soapy water and just clean the bit of grime off.

 

2. What is left of the front lock strap is just the part that is attached to the lid. It is cut or broken off just at the bottom of the lid. What is there is shaped like an "onion dome" coming to a point at the top. It is attached to the lid by a rivet! Not stitching like I have seen in other photos. I wonder if this helps to date the instrument?

 

3. The back hinge is even less intact. It seems that the leather hinge was part of the backside of the top and hung down. At the top of the case in the back are 2 rivets. The remains of the leather parts are between the rivets and the body of the case. Between these 2 rivets is a piece of leather that is attached vertically and stitched to the body of the case. This looks like it might be a carrying "strap", is torn and only about 1 inch long. Near the bottom of the backside of the case body is one more rivet holding what looks to be the end of the carrying strap, which is also stitched in. I wonder if this arrangement also helps to date the case and instrument?

 

I would appreciate anyone's bits of knowledge, and especially photos they might have of similar (or not) Jeffries cases so I know how to best reproduce the parts that the case needs to bring it back to completeness.

 

I might also be interested in the back and front appendages/appurtenances if someone has some to sell. (I know…another forum).

 

I hope my descriptions are useful. I could find a way to post some photos sometime soon.

 

Thanks a lot.

 

Richard

Edited by mike byrne
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Thank you Mike

 

Those are great. Pardon my greediness....might you have one looking straight at the back side with the hinge and strap? That would tell me a lot.

 

Thanks a lot.

 

Richard

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Richard, Mike, and Samantha

 

The leather cases are fantastic. I have never seen any like these before.

I completed an apprenticeship in prosthetics 30 years ago, and have had training in molding, blocking and hand stitching leather sockets. I would love to attempt to recreate cases like these. Maybe someone would have a old case I could purchase to copy?

 

:rolleyes: Wade Collins

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1. Is there a recommended leather polish/conditioner for this type of leather case? It is hard and smooth. I wonder if this isn't the intended state for the function of case. Perhaps it is best to use just some soapy water and just clean the bit of grime off.

 

I've never tried to restore the leather on a case, but I've had good success with leather shoes using Lexol Conditioner (http://www.lexol.com) (the one in the brown container). I understand that concertina restorers also use this on the leather parts of the bellows to keep them flexible. I buy Lexol locally at a shoe repair store.

 

If I was repairing shoes, I would give them a couple of treatments with Lexol (with a couple of days to dry in between), followed by a coat or two of neutral shoe wax and a good buffing with a shoe brush. The main problems with doing this on a case is that the conditioner is likely to soften the leather and you will lose the patina and original finish.

 

If you just want to preserve the case for posterity, your best bet would probably be to just use a mild cleaner, such as the Lexol-ph cleaner. Of course, before doing anything to the whole case, you should test the procedure on a small, inconspicuous area first.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Paul

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