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Calling All Mini Concertina Owners. :)


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In my on-going obsession with concertinas, I'd working on a new page for my web site (yes another one!), focusing on mini-concertinas.

 

One of the things I would really like to do is to put up as many photos of mini concertinas as I can get, along with any details such as make, model, size, key etc.

 

So I was wondering if anyone out there had any photos, info etc that they would like to contribute? (All copyright of photos etc will remain with the contributor etc etc).

 

And a big thank you for those who have already kindly sent me some material.

 

kind regards

Morgana :D

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In my on-going obsession with concertinas, I'd working on a new page for my web site (yes another one!), focusing on mini-concertinas.

What do you consider "mini"?

... 1) In the Wheatstone ledgers are a number of "miniature" concertinas, in sizes under 4", but with very few buttons.

... 2) Then there's the Dipper County Clare, at something under 6", but with a full complement of 30 buttons.

 

Are you including the first type, second type, or both?

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Hi Jim, and thanks for the very good questions.

 

My perception of a mini concertina are those with a minimum number of buttons, the size of Bob Tedrow's concertiny, the minis made by Andrew Norman and Anthony James, or the Jones and Wheastone (thank you Bob H. for the photos), as these are the ones I am most familiar with.

 

My learning curve, as usual, is straight up. :D

 

Am I correct in thinking that these fit the general assumption of what a miniature concertina is?

 

I haven't yet seen the Dipper "County Clare: but hopefully will some time in the future. My personal feeling is that a concertina with 30 buttons is probably larger than a mini, and would be called a small concertina. Would this be correct?

 

All feedback greatly appreciated. :)

 

kind regards

Morgana

Edited by Morgana
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My perception of a mini concertina are those with a minimum number of buttons, the size of Bob Tedrow's concertiny, the minis made by Andrew Norman and Anthony James, or the Jones and Wheastone (thank you Bob for the photos), as these are the ones I am most familiar with.

 

I have an English concertina with 26 buttons. Does this qualify? Its range is nearly 2 octaves, from the G above middle C up to F, with all the semitones in between.

 

Looking at one end, the dimensions are 97mm from the centre on one straight edge to the opposite edge, and 110mm from a corner to the opposite corner. With bellows closed, the length across is 95mm

 

I was having problems resizing the photo down to a size to show here, so I hope this has worked. the photo shows the concertina next to a bass instrument - hence the name of the picture (BigTiny). I can email you the larger image if that helps.

 

- John Wild

 

 

Edited by John Wild
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My perception of a mini concertina are those with a minimum number of buttons, the size of Bob Tedrow's concertiny, the minis made by Andrew Norman and Anthony James, or the Jones and Wheastone (thank you Bob H. for the photos), as these are the ones I am most familiar with.

These are the ones that are noted as "miniature" in the Wheatstone ledgers (1910+). Sizes generally range from 2-3/4" to 3½". Of 362 "miniatures" I've identified in these ledgers, only seven are outside this range, with three at 2", one each at 3-5/8" and 4", and two at 4½". The number of buttons generally ranges from 5 (definitely anglos) to 18 (Englishes), with four listed as having 19 buttons (one says 18, but then the note "another key added"), and one with 22.

 

As I recall, there are a few others -- all Englishes, I think -- that are intermediate in both size and number of buttons, but none of them are described in the ledgers as "miniature".

 

My personal feeling is that a concertina with 30 buttons is probably larger than a mini, and would be called a small concertina.

However, this old pricelist (ca. 1895) describes 5-5½" anglos with 20-26 buttons as "miniature".

 

So I guess it depended on who you asked. The Dipper County Clare at 5-5/8" and 30 buttons would seem to fit into the second group.

 

I have an English concertina with 26 buttons. Does this qualify? ...the dimensions are 97mm [across the flats]

That's between 3-3/4" and 3-7/8", so it qualifies in the first (smaller) category, even though it has many more buttons than I would expect. Who made yours?

 

I know where there's a 28-button Lachenal English (low note middle C, IIRC), but I think its size is more like 5+".

 

"Piccolo" concertinas were also smaller than the standard models, but they were also pitched an octave higher, whether English or anglo.

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I've just bought a book entitled "A maid and her music - the memories, melodeons and related reed instruments of Ruth Askew". It's a good reed (that was a typo, but such a good one that I thought I'd leave it) and has lots of superb photos including a number from the early years of the English country music revival (anyone for Neil Wayne as a young man?). The reason for mentioning it here is one photo of two concertinas. The first concertina is described as 'Wheatstone McCann duet system 16" * 16", reputed to be the largest concertina in the world'. The second is described as 'Miniature concertina 2" x 2", reputed to be the smallest concertina in the world'. The contrast between the two is amazing. I'd scan it like a shot and put it up here except, of course, the copyright isn't mine.

 

I have the author's email address and I shall email him to see if he would mind.

 

Chris

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... one photo of two concertinas. The first concertina is described as 'Wheatstone McCann duet system 16" * 16", reputed to be the largest concertina in the world'. The second is described as 'Miniature concertina 2" x 2", reputed to be the smallest concertina in the world'.

Are they really both square? I have recorded three 2"-miniatures from the post-1909 Wheatstone ledgers, but none indicates a square shape, though there are other entries (for larger instruments) that do.

25500	2"   8b  Miniature  hex
30524	2"	   Miniature  hex   NP
33898	2"   8b  Mig			  metal ends  gilt spray

Miniatures are commonly labelled "Mig"... for "midget"?

"NP" is nickel-plated ends.

 

At the opposite end is this instrument:

32454   18"  16b			 octo  Duro		double bass

That's more than 1" per button!

"Duro" is Duralumin, i.e., alumin(i)um ends. And reed shoes?

 

But I also noted some others that I excluded from my count of miniatures, these among them:

27847  4-1/2" 24b  A.G.  Special  hex   NP
30650  4"	 26b  piccolo		octo  NP
31006  4-5/8" 24b  duet  small	octo

"A.G." is Anglo-German.

 

I think those instruments in the size range 4-5½" with a reduced, but not greatly reduced, button count should be considered a class separate from either "miniatures" or "normal"-sized. With my love of puns, I hereby name them concertweenas. :D

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post-82-1138468236_thumb.jpgpost-82-1138468261_thumb.jpg

That's Wheatstone #36774, in the ledger as a model M1 (12-button, 6-sided miniature English), "CP" (chrome plated).

 

post-82-1138468288_thumb.jpgpost-82-1138468304_thumb.jpgpost-82-1138468318_thumb.jpg

Hard reading the serial number, but there are only 15 starting with 32..., and only four of those with 12 buttons in a non-English layout. All four are indicated as "duet" and "NP" (nickel plated), and this one has to be #32959. :)

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I have my little miniature serial 25435; 12k English 2 3/4 A/F

 

As depicted in the maintenance Book, one picture of it stripped down, and another beside my treble Aeola.

 

Always a source of facination for small children, and an object of hate for cats!

 

Dave

post-162-1138481834_thumb.jpg

post-162-1138481851_thumb.jpg

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I have an English concertina with 26 buttons. Does this qualify? ...the dimensions are 97mm [across the flats]

That's between 3-3/4" and 3-7/8", so it qualifies in the first (smaller) category, even though it has many more buttons than I would expect. Who made yours?

 

there is no makers name on it and no serial number, but it is believed to be a Lachenal from the design of the workings.

 

- john Wild

 

edited to add photo

 

 

Edited by John Wild
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