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Alan Turnball

Jeffries Multibutton Concertina

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I have a Jeffries concertina, about 50 buttons (I do not play). It has nickle end pieces with C Jeffries Maker, and an address 12 Aldershot Road, Kilburn NW6. It is in good working order although perhaps needs a service! It has what I beleive to be the original black leather case. Essentially I would like some money to buy something else rather than keep this instrument my mother once bought in an antique shop. No one in the familly plays!! I am in Worcestershire, UK

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Alan,

 

As you probably know, you likely have a very nice concertina that can command a good chunk of change, although the 40+ button ones are typically a tad less desireable because they are among the heaviest concertinas ever made... I would be interested in the concertina and would pay you well for it... Can you send pictures? I assume it is C/G?

 

Thanks,

Craig Wagner

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I assume it is C/G?

I'll guess that it's more likely in Bb/F, and probably not A440 at that.

 

But I think I would actually be more interested if it's Bb/F than C/G. :)

 

Oops! I think we're assuming it's an anglo. In fact, it might be a Jeffries-system duet. Some people would want to convert those to anglos, but I'd be interested in one unaltered.

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Could you attach an image file (.jpg, .gif) of a photo of it?

 

you likely have a very nice concertina that can command a good chunk of change,

Dang! Why'd you have to tell him? <_< Ah! He probobly already knew.

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Interestingly enough, there are enough people here that would be more interested in something unusual (Bb/F in original tuning, or a Jeffries Duet) that it might fetch more than if it were a Jeffries C/G in modern pitch.

 

--Dave

Edited by Dave Weinstein

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Hi,

 

There are 24 buttons one end and 27 at the other. 2 on each side appear to be some kind of drone, and separate from the others. And yes, I realise it has some value, as does the modern musical stuff that I want! Not sure what Duet means, but I think a concertina player in our local musoes group indicated that name....and that he could not play it!!! Too many buttons!

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There are 24 buttons one end and 27 at the other. 2 on each side appear to be some kind of drone, and separate from the others.

From that description, it sounds like *not* a duet. If it were a duet, *all* the buttons should sound the same note in both bellows directions. On an anglo, all (or almost all) of the buttons should sound different notes in the two bellows directions.

 

How are the buttons arranged on the ends? I.e., how many rows ("parallel" to the handles) and how many buttons in each row?

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All the notes do sound the same whichever way the bellows are working.

Hmm, now it does sound a little like some kind of duet concertina. Are the rows of buttons lined up anything like this? (see attached diagram):

post-5-1069645123.jpg

Edited by AlexCJones

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Alex, it's most likely a Jeffries-system duet. Do you know about that one? Sometimes described as an "unfolded" anglo.

 

I've never seen or heard of a Jeffries-made Maccann duet, though I wouldn't consider it impossible, since I have a Jeffries-made Crane duet.

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Alex, it's most likely a Jeffries-system duet. Do you know about that one?
I have read about it somewhere, but I don't have a diagram/fingering chart in my (now growing) diagram/fingering chart collection. If you can direct me to where I can find one to add, then that would be great.

 

Meanwhile, here is a Crane/Triumph Duet chart (attached).

 

Mr. Turnball? Does the key layout resemble anything like the diagrams I have attached?

 

Can you attach can image of the instrument? If you do not have a digital camera, then can ask a friend or nearby family member who does? If the image file is larger than 120K, I can give you step-by-step instructions on how to reduce its size (or you can email them to me directly, and I can do it for you.).

 

The sooner people can see pictures of it, the sooner someone will be ready to make you an offer for it. A picture of each end of the instrument, plus a view of the bellows extended is usually what concertina buyers want to see.

 

- Alex

post-5-1069649602.jpg

Edited by AlexCJones

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Hi,

 

I enclose a quick sketch of both ends. The bellows are black leather with no markings. The end pieces have gold embossed designs. One of the things I want at the moment is a digital camara..... ;)

 

My ISP is poor at the moment....email server worse than web, so forgive me if direct email is slow....

 

Regards

Alan

post-5-1069669038.jpg

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Dear Alan,

 

The next piece of information you may want to work out is its "home key." Most I have seen are based in Bb or C. On the left hand, third row from the handrails you will find three adjacent buttons (in a row) that give a major triad -- this is the tonic triad of the "home key." The left hand thumb button is usually an augmented fourth above this (e. g., F# for a home key of C).

 

I would not be surprised if the pitch of the instrument is between A 443 to as high as A 458 (found in one Praed St. instrument). The latter pitch is almost a half-step above our A 440 (if A=440 then Bb = 466), and could be interpreted as a LOW ("continental") pitch of "the home key a half step higher", but the reeds on that instrument were stamped in such a way that I think A 458 correct. According to Rockstro, this very high pitch was used in America by Steinway but I don't know in what circumstances it would have been used in England.

 

The temperament on most of these Jeffries duets I have seen was "pretty close to equal" with perhaps a few notes consistently flattened for sweeter thirds in a few triads. If yours is playable and still in high pitch, its temperament could and should be studied before the instrument is retuned.

 

How many out there play these instruments? Alan asked me in an email and I could only think of one person.

 

Paul

Edited by Paul Groff

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My ISP is poor at the moment....email server worse than web,

That wouldn't be Virgin by any chance would it? I am with them and for the last week it has been absolutely appalling - as you say especially the E-mail.

 

Clive

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There aren't too many people play these duets, I could probably come up with about 6, Starting with myself, Nick Robertshaw, Gavin Atkin, Michael Hebbert.... I've run out for the moment.

I play a 58 key in C and it has been my experience that even though there weren't many of thes instruments around, the going prices were very low. This has been changing recently as some people realised that the reeds were often v. good and could be used in anglos - or even converted the instrument to an Anglo.

Sacrelige as far as I'm concerned. BTW I live in Gloucestershire and I wouldn't mind a look at the instrument Alan. email me if you wish

John Vernon

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Two Jeffries Duet players in Australia, Polly Garland and Michael Kluger. I believe Polly wants to sell one of hers, but it is hard to put a value on it.

I remember that years ago Neville Crabb wanted to sell Polly a

Wheatstone-labelled Jeffries Duet, which she declined on the grounds that the reason she wanted to play Jeffries system was for the distinctive sound, not just to learn a difficult system for the sake of it. At the time she played a Triumph Wheatstone Aeola, and would happily have jumped at the chance of a Jeffries Triumph system if one had been available, but every "expert" consulted said that Jeffries only made anglos and their own duet system. Not being fond of anglos, she had no option but to learn the Jeffries system.

I have since seen one Jeffries Triumph and heard about another (Jim), also two Jeffries English concertinas. No MacCanns yet, though I believe Tommy Williams claimed that Jeffries Brothers did make them.

Off topic a bit, but is there any truth in the rumour that Michall Hebbert is making another recording? Or is Rampin' Cat being released as a CD?

Edited by malcolm clapp

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