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Daniel Hersh

German?

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It's here. Any comments? I'm working on my German-concertina-spotting skills. I'm guessing that this one is German because it appears to have screws rather than British-style endbolts.

 

Daniel

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Yep, that one's German, though an "imitation Anglo", trying very hard to look English. It's based on a George Jones design, and here's a link to an image of the opposite end of a similar one that I have: http://www.concertina.com/chambers/lachena...ction-fig08.htm

 

But the woodscrews aren't the real giveaway, indeed George Jones, and other English makers, did use them on some cheap models of Anglo. The easiest way to tell is from the buttons, which are set at an angle on German concertinas and the holes in the ends have to be large for them to pass through, as they are glued to the wooden levers inside.

 

edited url.

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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Thanks, Stephen. So how about this one? Looks like it has woodscrews, but small button holes.

 

Yep, that one's German, though an "imitation Anglo", trying very hard to look English. It's based on a George Jones design, and here's a link to an image of the opposite end of a similar one that I have: http://www.concertina.com/chambers/lachenal-production/images/production-fig08.htm ://http://www.concertina.com/chambers/...tion-fig08.htm ://http://www.concertina.com/chambers/...tion-fig08.htm ://http://www.concertina.com/chambers/...tion-fig08.htm

 

But the woodscrews aren't the real giveaway, indeed George Jones, and other English makers, did use them on some cheap models of Anglo. The easiest way to tell is from the buttons, which are set at an angle on German concertinas and the holes in the ends have to be large for them to pass through, as they are glued to the wooden levers inside.

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Thanks, Stephen. So how about this one? Looks like it has woodscrews, but small button holes.

The bellows construction and fretwork are definitely German but, just to be really confusing, that one looks like it could be a German-made Anglo. Theo mentioned working on a German-made English recently, but didn't sound too impressed.

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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So what's the distinction that you draw between "imitation Anglo" and "German-made Anglo"? Wooden vs. metal action?

 

Thanks, Stephen. So how about this one? Looks like it has woodscrews, but small button holes.

The bellows construction and fretwork are definitely German but, just to be really confusing, that one looks like it could be a German-made Anglo. Theo mentioned working on a German-made English recently, but didn't sound too impressed.

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So what's the distinction that you draw between "imitation Anglo" and "German-made Anglo"? Wooden vs. metal action?

If only it was so simple! Some English concertinas have had a wooden action, and some German concertinas a metal one ...

 

German "Imitation Anglos" are not uncommon, and are sometimes described in those or similar terms in old catalogues, or sometimes even on the label of the cardboard box they came in. They are concertinas of typical German construction (parallel wooden levers, glued-on buttons, usually 10 reeds on long plates mounted on reedblocks) which imitate the appearance of Anglo concertinas (fretwork, leather-covered bellows frames, no metal corner plates).

 

Here is a photo of one such, with its case:

 

EnglishPattern2.jpg

 

... here a detail of the fretwork, clearly showing the German-style wooden levers, from which several of the buttons have come unglued:

 

EnglishPattern3.jpg

 

... and here's the case label, reading No. 420, English pattern CONCERTINA, 20 Keys:

 

EnglishPattern1.jpg

 

As I said, some German makers did build Englishes, that is to say English-system concertinas of typical English-style construction (metal levers in a radial arrangement, individual reeds slotted into a reed pan), though they usually called them a melofon (or melophon). There was a thread about one here.

 

Theo has recently referred to that instrument in the thread Odd 20-button, where he speculated that the Anglo in question might be by the same maker/of the same construction, in which case I would suggest that it might be approprate to describe it as a German-made Anglo, but I have never come across such an instrument myself.

 

The one you provided the link to may, or may not, be of that type, and only close examination would tell, but it is certainly German.

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And here is almost a twin of the possible "German-made Anglo" on eBay.

 

Thanks, Stephen. So how about this one? Looks like it has woodscrews, but small button holes.

The bellows construction and fretwork are definitely German but, just to be really confusing, that one looks like it could be a German-made Anglo. Theo mentioned working on a German-made English recently, but didn't sound too impressed.

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And here is almost a twin of the possible "German-made Anglo" on eBay.

The buttons certainly look straighter, and the holes smaller than on a typical German concertina, but I really wouldn't like to guess what lurks inside ... :huh:

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I've asked the seller for some internal pics and will share them if I get them.

 

And here is almost a twin of the possible "German-made Anglo" on eBay.

The buttons certainly look straighter, and the holes smaller than on a typical German concertina, but I really wouldn't like to guess what lurks inside ... :huh:

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And the seller replied, saying that he would not "take it to bits." Still a mystery, then.

 

Daniel

 

I've asked the seller for some internal pics and will share them if I get them.

 

And here is almost a twin of the possible "German-made Anglo" on eBay.

The buttons certainly look straighter, and the holes smaller than on a typical German concertina, but I really wouldn't like to guess what lurks inside ... :huh:

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And here's another one--good pics of more straight-looking buttons and small holes.

 

Daniel

 

And the seller replied, saying that he would not "take it to bits." Still a mystery, then.

 

Daniel

 

I've asked the seller for some internal pics and will share them if I get them.

 

And here is almost a twin of the possible "German-made Anglo" on eBay.

The buttons certainly look straighter, and the holes smaller than on a typical German concertina, but I really wouldn't like to guess what lurks inside ... :huh:

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And here's another one--good pics of more straight-looking buttons and small holes.

But if you look at the left hand end of that one, there are a couple of buttons missing and you can see where they were glued onto the wooden levers.

 

I see the maker has copied the cheap Lachenal fretwork design, but it has a more flowing feel because it was cut by hand, whilst Lachenal's used a pattern-following spindle cutter.

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Good point--I should have noticed the levers. The fretwork is indeed pretty on this one--and the endbolts are placed where they would be on a British one too, and they might even be endbolts as opposed to screws (I can't tell for sure from the picture).

 

On the buttons, holes and action, the wooden levers here make me wonder if the maker used a button construction method that allowed the buttons to flex. I've seen two different methods of this type on German-built Chemnitzers. In both cases the buttons were made in two pieces and connected by a flexible material: a leather strip in what I believe is the older method and a metal pin in the other one.

 

Daniel

 

And here's another one--good pics of more straight-looking buttons and small holes.

But if you look at the left hand end of that one, there are a couple of buttons missing and you can see where they were glued onto the wooden levers.

 

I see the maker has copied the cheap Lachenal fretwork design, but it has a more flowing feel because it was cut by hand, whilst Lachenal's used a pattern-following spindle cutter.

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On the buttons, holes and action, the wooden levers here make me wonder if the maker used a button construction method that allowed the buttons to flex. I've seen two different methods of this type on German-built Chemnitzers. In both cases the buttons were made in two pieces and connected by a flexible material: a leather strip in what I believe is the older method and a metal pin in the other one.

I wondered something of the sort myself, though simply gluing a suitable piece of leather in between the lever and the button could provide sufficient flexibility. I have seen it done.

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Another nice example of an "imitation Anglo" is now on eBay here. Again, the missing buttons show the wooden action. This one is clearly marked "German make", so no deception to the buyer is intended--but you could take it to a session and make everyone think that you were playing a real British-made concertina...

 

Daniel

 

On the buttons, holes and action, the wooden levers here make me wonder if the maker used a button construction method that allowed the buttons to flex. I've seen two different methods of this type on German-built Chemnitzers. In both cases the buttons were made in two pieces and connected by a flexible material: a leather strip in what I believe is the older method and a metal pin in the other one.
I wondered something of the sort myself, though simply gluing a suitable piece of leather in between the lever and the button could provide sufficient flexibility. I have seen it done.

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since this all happened for the most part before I joined--what is exactly meant by an imitation anglo?

 

I thought a lot of the german concertinas had wooden actions and reed blocks. And weren't these primarily what was imported into Ireland and North America during the Anglo German's heyday? I know my Italian made german style has this wooden action and reed blocks and it is nice little instrament, theough not my primary instrament.

 

Alan

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They almost all had wooden actions. My guess is that the single-reed 20-button ones did not generally have reed blocks but instead had long-plate (aka ganged) reeds that were laid flat rather than mounted on reed blocks. Newer German 20-buttons are more likely to have reed blocks. The multi-reeded ones (including 20-buttons and big square ones like Chemnitzers and Carlsfelders) often had a mix of laid-flat reeds and reed blocks, as there's not enough room in the box to lay them all flat. Here's an illustration from a c.1930 German-made triple-reed Chemnitzer:

pawlanta5.jpg

 

For Stephen's definition of "imitation Anglo" look at previous posts in this thread.

 

since this all happened for the most part before I joined--what is exactly meant by an imitation anglo?

 

I thought a lot of the german concertinas had wooden actions and reed blocks. And weren't these primarily what was imported into Ireland and North America during the Anglo German's heyday? I know my Italian made german style has this wooden action and reed blocks and it is nice little instrament, theough not my primary instrament.

 

Alan

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Reviving this thread because there's now what appears to be a nice example of a German "imitation Anglo" here on eBay.

 

Yep, that one's German, though an "imitation Anglo", trying very hard to look English. It's based on a George Jones design, and here's a link to an image of the opposite end of a similar one that I have: http://www.concertina.com/chambers/lachena...ction-fig08.htm

 

But the woodscrews aren't the real giveaway, indeed George Jones, and other English makers, did use them on some cheap models of Anglo. The easiest way to tell is from the buttons, which are set at an angle on German concertinas and the holes in the ends have to be large for them to pass through, as they are glued to the wooden levers inside.

 

edited url.

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