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Dating Lachenal "new Model" Crane/triumph Duet


Cream-T
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I've got a Lachenal Crane Duet "New Model" (raised ends) from Chris Algar. Nosey as I am, I'm trying to find out when it was made. It has a number on a little oval metal label on the top of the left hand side: "697". (No photos yet.)

 

Two questions:

1) Is this the serial number that will help me ID'ing the instrument, or do I have to perform open surgery and look at the reed panel?

 

2) Does the table in Wes William's article about Lachenal serial numbers refer to the "old model", or does the serial number really indicate my instrument was built in 1892?

 

It's all very exciting. I am particularly surprised that I find playing the Crane Duet a lot less difficult than I anticipated. I have the feeling I might be able to got to a "dare to play in sessions" standard in this lifetime... :)

 

Kind regards,

Thorsten.

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Is this the serial number ... ?

It is.

 

 

Does the table in Wes William's article about Lachenal serial numbers refer to the "old model", or does the serial number really indicate my instrument was built in 1892?]

The raised-ended New Model instruments were introduced in the late 1880's, numbered in the same sequences as Lachenal's other concertinas. However, the Crane duet was only patented in 1896 so, due to seemingly anomolous numbers like yours, it has been suggested that there may have been seperate sequences for Maccann duets and Crane duets.

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Looks like we won't know for sure when it was built, but the fact that it was probably the sixhundredandninetythird (got the number wrong earlier) Crane - rather than duet - that was built, indicates a venerable age indeed.

Lacking a receipt, or ledgers of Lachenal production, we can never be sure. But the highest serial number that I know of is 5960, which makes #693 pretty early, perhaps about 1900, a centenarian anyway !

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  • 2 weeks later...
Looks like we won't know for sure when it was built, but the fact that it was probably the sixhundredandninetythird (got the number wrong earlier) Crane - rather than duet - that was built, indicates a venerable age indeed.

Lacking a receipt, or ledgers of Lachenal production, we can never be sure. But the highest serial number that I know of is 5960, which makes #693 pretty early, perhaps about 1900, a centenarian anyway !

 

Well, my 48 key Lachenal Crane is number 256 according to the reed pan. It has a "Crane & Sons" pot-metal label on the end, instead of the Lachenal mark, but it's obviously a Lachenal. John Butterworth, who patented what became known as the Crane system, was a piano tuner from Cheshire. Crane & Sons were (still are) piano makers and sellers from Liverpool, just across the river Mersey from Cheshire, so Butterworth almost certainly knew them and sold them the rights to his system, around 1896/7. Lachenal were obviously brought in to make them, under license. Lachenal probably only got to put their own name on "Cranes" once Crane & Sons gave up the monopoly - maybe C&S have records/ledgers from then which would help to date this.

 

Nice looking instrument, anyway!

Edited by Crane Driver
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