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Quality 48-key treble by unknown maker

david robertson

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Scates, Austin, Nickolds, Ebblewhite? Your guess is as good as mine - but in a way, it matters not a jot, because the quality is obvious everywhere, inside and out. The ends are of beautifully figured solid rosewood, with very fine inlays and unusual corner bindings of German silver. The action levers are riveted through slotted pillars (another mark of quality), and the riveted reeds are well made and close-fitting (apart from the two later additions which I have replaced).

The original bellows were fit only for the bin, so I have made and fitted new 6-fold green ones, with foil-stamped '3 daisy' design papers - similar to the originals, but with a bit more bling! I have also fitted matching green leather thumb-straps, and re-covered the slides in the same leather.

All pads, valves and bushes have been replaced, the woodwork has been French polished, and the reeds have been tuned to Modern Concert Pitch.

It is fast and responsive, with a sweet, mellow tone - an ideal singer's instrument, I would suggest. If there's anything else I can tell you, please ask. And if you're within striking distance of Norwich, do drop in for a squeeze.

Price: £1250





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Very nice work, David. Mention of riveted reeds gives another suggestion for a possible maker - Edward Chidley - who started making them for Wheatstone in the mid 1860s, before taking over the company at the end of that decade. He continued using riveted reeds to the end of the 1890s. He had only been listed as a individual maker since around 1860, so reports of his own concertinas are rare. See here .

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Thanks for the suggestion, Wes. The action on this one is quite different, though. Each pivot post is a round column of brass, with a central slot cut down from the top, in which sits the flattened section of the lever, with the rivet passing right through the column and lever.

I've seen this system before, but I can't be sure who the maker was. Jabez Austin springs to mind, but as I say, there are some mornings these days when I swear I can feel the memory cells turning up their toes...

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