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Crane Duet No 460

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I have just looked at an interesting Crane duet 48 button. It looks like a Lachenal of the 1890's, and so does the movement - I have an Anglo Lachenal no 139899  - but there is no name on it nor a Lachenal reedframe logo, except the no 460 is in all the usual places. On the hand rest instead of the reedframe logo is the carved inscription C&S10742 in large letters - as big as will fit. Is this an very early Crane numbered in Lachenal's separate Crane duet series? It is tuned in C but very high pitch - probably Salvation Army pitch.

Nick Oliver

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Sounds like it is made by Lachenal, but it would be good to see some photos. I have 48-button Crane #55 that has C&S 396 on the back of the right side handrest with the Lachenal reedframe logo on the front of the handrest. The left side handrest only has "PATENT-21730-1896" stamped on the back side. The paper label says "Crane and Sons (Liverpool), Patent Concertina No. 21730, Manufactured by Lachenal & Co., London". It has brass reeds, also in high pitch.


I'm not sure what the C&S handrest number is or how it relates to anything else...



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Hi Nick,

Gary's reply above more or less nails your instrument as a Crane & Sons Crane/Butterworth system concertina.


Dating of these instruments is very speculative as we don't have many reports (~185) but currently we estimate #460 as 1904 and Gary's #55 as 1898. Crane's patent expired around 1910 and the Salvation Army took up the system in 1912. The Lachenal crane series numbers went up to around 1050, and when the SA took over the serials in the existing Maccann series were used.


AFAIK nobody has published anything on C&S numbers and their related Lachenal serials, but it would be an interesting thing to study 🙂

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I am in agreement with Wes as to dates and that Nicks instrument is of Lachenal origin.

The C&S number e.g. Gary’s 396 may have been a stock or sales number, found on other instruments supplied by Cranes.


Just a few observations:

A John Butterworth of Macclesfield, Cheshire, devised the button array and note allocation of what he described as ‘Simplifying the Key Arrangement of English Concertinas’.

Self-described as a piano tuner, he applied for patent (No. 21730) in October 1896, which was granted in October 1897. Being acquainted with and possibly servicing pianos supplied by Crane & Sons (C&S), a large musical instrument dealer having branches across the North, Midlands, Wales & Scotland, he possibly approached them with a view to having the instruments produced. It is not known, but highly probable that Butterworth sold the patent to (C&S) as the system eventually became known and advertised as ‘Cranes Patent Combination Concertina’. (‘Duet’, was at the time, usually associated with Wheatstone and Lachenal instruments.

In 1898/9, C&S opened a branch, advertised as ‘Concertina Makers’, at 149 Oxford Street, London,  (Building demolished and rebuilt in the 1950,s) However, being primarily instrument dealers not makers and having existing connections with Lachenal & Co., C &S began commissioning this new variation of concertina from them in earnest.  


From 1912 The Salvation Army Supplies Division also commissioned this variation and adopted the name ‘Triumph Duet


Although patent 21730 may have expired around 1910, the first Crabb version having 59 keys (buttons) arranged in the inverted chevron layout was made in 1900.😏


Hope this is of interest



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