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Premium Prices For Extraordinary Concertinas


danersen
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Hello All,

 

I am always fascinated and intrigued by conversations about value (ref: current Wheatstone Linota thread) and usually wonder to myself, "What would be considered to be the finest concertina all things considered: quality, builder, components, tone, rarity, etc., and what might the highest premium price it would fetch from an informed buyer be?"

 

So, this time, I've decided to ask the masses here and see what variety of suggestions are offered.

 

What is the ultimate concertina and what is it worth?

 

Assuredly, the matter of Anglo, English, and Duet will immediately come to mind as a consideration; however, perhaps, we can suspend that distinction and replies can be based on whatever system is the respondents preference or bias.

 

I am hoping that replies to this question will produce an interesting, informative, and entertaining compilation of opinions and perspectives.

 

Thanks.

 

Be Well,

 

Dan

Edited by danersen
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Even beyond the choice of system there are variables that depend enormously on the player. For instance the likes of John Kirkpatrick or Harry Scurfield regard a 30 button C/G as too limiting for their needs and always play 40 button boxes, while many Irish players would regard the extra 10 buttons as mere deadweight.

 

I have a Dipper baritone 30 button C/G and and a Jeffries (restored Dipper) 38 button G/D that perfectly suit the majority of my needs. Whether they are "ultimate" or not in any sort of absolute sense I cannot say (though the Dipper is certainly a very unusual instrument) but I have no inclination to replace either of them with any concertina that I have yet seen. So I guess for me they are ultimate.

 

Chris

 

Edited to add PS: I forgot the value part of the question. I have both instruments insured at 4000 pounds (say $7000) each.

Edited by Chris Timson
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What is the ultimate concertina ...

Now that's a very personal question, that could generate plenty of disagreement :unsure: , but for me it has to be my July 13th 1926 amboyna-wood Æola tenor-treble. As far as I'm concerned it has the perfect combination of tone, range, playability and appearance. :) :) :)

 

Aeolatenor-treble31205.jpg

 

And how amazing, thanks to this thread I've just realised that it's my concertina's 80th birthday today! :blink:

 

... and what is it worth?

To me it's priceless :) , but to somebody else maybe worthless ... :(

 

And that is the real truth of the matter; nothing has a finite value, anything is only worth what somebody is prepared to pay for it ... :huh:

 

But it was my great good fortune to buy it at auction for £800 last year, and I'm definitely not complaining! :D

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What is the ultimate concertina and what is it worth?

 

I think this is the ultimate in subjective questions.

 

For what it's worth, the ultimate concertina to me (that I've ever had the pleasure of playing) is a particular 36-button C/G Jeffries. Pin-type bushed bone buttons, metal ends, ridiculously fast action. Highly responsive reeds and of course a lovely tone. I find with C/G instruments that the upper notes can sound piercing or shrill, and this Jeffries despite the metal ends hits the upper registers clearly and cleanly, without shrieking.

 

What is it worth? Hard to tell since it isn't for sale and probably won't be for sale for a long time if ever. I won't presume to speak for the owner, and I think the instrument has a lot of sentimental value. However, if it were to be sold it would certainly go for what other top boxes sell for these days. Personally I think five figures is too much to spend for any concertina, but I am speaking as a person of very limited means.

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David,

 

RE: This is the ultimate subjective question.

 

I couldn't agree more. That's why it's so potentially interesting.

 

Just looking for opinions - unqualified and filled with experientail bias - to appreciate the range of tastes and diversity of concertinas among the concertina.net community.

 

Simply hoping to open a fun dialogue - not achieve any definitive declaration(s).

 

Be Well,

 

Dan

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as anything a concertina is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay. to me that more cash than i willing to put out, besides not never haveing nothing better than the 30 button Lachenal in my hands i wouldnt know no better any way. i would like to play a better one some day but ifn i dont right now im thinking i got a nice concertina, when some one else would laugh and say thats a beginner instrument. :D

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right now im thinking i got a nice concertina, when some one else would laugh and say thats a beginner instrument. :D

Won't be me that's laughing. My first anglo was a 30 button Lach, and I always regretted selling it - so much so that I bought another not so long ago, for those times when I needed a treble C/G. Not ultimate, but nice :)

 

Chris

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right now im thinking i got a nice concertina, when some one else would laugh and say thats a beginner instrument. :D
Won't be me that's laughing.

Me neither, I've always loved the sound of a nice wooden-ended Lachenal, especially the rosewood ones with the full fretwork. So when this lovely ebony-ended one turned up on eBay (listed as having rosewood ends!) I was delighted to get it for the price of a rosewood-ended one:

 

Lachenal83438.jpg

 

If they were good enough for Mrs. Crotty, they're plenty good enough for me! :)

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For what it is worth - and taking into account what has been said above - I have a wish list of ultimate concertinas!

 

I would love a 40 key Crabb in C/G 7 fold bellows :D

 

I would lust both a 38 key C/G and G/D Jeffries :lol:

 

For now the price is irrelevant as I don't have enough money to buy another concertina even a Stagi :rolleyes:

 

Having said that I am very happy with my Norman and for the price I think it is an exceptional instrument.

 

I "think" the ultimate concertina is a 38 key Jeffries and of the vintage concertinas I have heard (and played) that would be my choice. I "believe" the current market value would be slightly north of £4000 GBP

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I would just love to get the standard Wheatstone Hayden Duet H3 model which is £8,160. I have no idea know what having a few enhancements on it would up it its price to...? Unfortunately I don't have that type of dough though I imagine if one were to magically be available for sale that it would be snapped up quite quickly.

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I'm about to take delivery of what I hope will be, for me, the ultimate concertina; it's a 73 key Maccan Aeola but has alloy ends and reed frames so weighs almost exactly the same as my trusty 61 key raised end Wheatstone. The octagonal shape has much the same largest dimension as the hexagonal 61 key too. It's not the ultimate yet because it's just had a major tune after long years of silence and needs playing in, but once it's there I don't expect to ever need another concertina, (well, at least without having to come up with a creative reason...) I can't imagine that the larger bulk of an 81 key duet would be worth the extra notes I'd gain (not all of them would increase the range; some would be crossover notes; high lefthand or low right hand)

 

The world of Maccan duets is slightly odd; there doesn't seem to be a 'Jeffries' equivalent to get hysterical about; (I'm not learning another system, it has to be Maccan,) and although Jeffries Maccans are in existence (2?) I'm not interested in owning one as I love the subtle clear sound of the better metal ended Wheatstones.

 

If you buy a new one you're talking "special order; go to the back of the queue". So I thought hard about whether to order now for a few years time and decided that I would never buy a new concertina because the old ones offered everything I needed much more cheaply. So new ones don't enter into it for me.

 

What seemed to me a lot of money pales into insignificance against anglo prices; I paid about £1700 for the instrument and fettling which I think is about right; the duet market is very small and you hear some funny numbers bandied about, with a lot riding on whether someone particularly wants a particular instrument at the time, but this seems fair to both sides. I know Mr Barleycorn tends towards about £1800 for his better duets. As to what I WOULD pay for it, well, not much more; it's an arm and a leg anyway in my terms and I have a perfectly adequate 61 key already.

 

So it is my ultimate concertina because I can't imagine another instrument that would suit me better. But it's not something that you'd pick out particularly from an identity parade, I don't think. Unassuming in a 73 key sort of way...(thanks for offering it to me Nils, can't wait to get it to work!)

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