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An Odd One On Ebay


Paul Read

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Any thoughts on this one?

It looks like the poor thing has been severely "got-at". I'm sure that it originally had rosewood fretcut ends, and those brass ones with all the holes in them look like a DIY job.

 

Is 32 buttons like that unusual for an instrument like that? As do it yourself jobs go, the brass ends don't look too bad. Someone did a reasonable job with them at least via the pictures. Though I seriously question whether brass is really all that good a choice of material for concertina ends.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I see it was bought by Neill Wayne. Did he know something we don't?
He didn't know anything that I didn't ;) ...
So, is nobody going to ask the obvious question? :unsure:
OK, Stephen, I'll bite...so what did you know, beyond what you said in your earlier posts?

Daniel,

 

I thought you were never going to ask! ;)

 

What I didn't mention (I was intending to bid on it after all!) is that the instrument was a Wheatstone of the earliest model to be made with fretwork (after the original "open-pallet" ones), though sadly that feature was exactly what was missing from it and crude metal ends made to replace the missing original rosewood ones. The serial number would have originally been on the engraved, oval nickel-silver maker's label, as can be seen on this photograph of #112 in my collection, and could have been anything from around the high 30s into the low 100s:

 

Chambers-Michaelstein-014-W400H300.jpg

 

You can see an enlargement of the image here.

 

So it was one of the earliest concertinas to be made, though now in a very sorry state. I wonder what it's like inside? Usually they have a very intricate brass mechanism, with steel leaf springs, though there is an early example known with a wooden action.

 

Anyway, at least I know where it is ... :unsure:

Edited by Stephen Chambers
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I see it was bought by Neill Wayne. Did he know something we don't?
He didn't know anything that I didn't ;) ...
So, is nobody going to ask the obvious question? :unsure:
OK, Stephen, I'll bite...so what did you know, beyond what you said in your earlier posts?

Daniel,

 

I thought you were never going to ask! ;)

 

What I didn't mention (I was intending to bid on it after all!) is that the instrument was a Wheatstone of the earliest model to be made with fretwork (after the original "open-pallet" ones), though sadly that feature was exactly what was missing from it and crude metal ends made to replace the missing original rosewood ones. The serial number would have originally been on the engraved, oval nickel-silver maker's label, as can be seen on this photograph of #112 in my collection, and could have been anything from around the high 30s into the low 100s:

 

Chambers-Michaelstein-014-W400H300.jpg

 

You can see an enlargement of the image here.

 

So it was one of the earliest concertinas to be made, though now in a very sorry state. I wonder what it's like inside? Usually they have a very intricate brass mechanism, with steel leaf springs, though there is an early example known with a wooden action.

 

Anyway, at least I know where it is ... :unsure:

So how could you tell what it was? By the number and design of the buttons?
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I see it was bought by Neill Wayne. Did he know something we don't?
He didn't know anything that I didn't ;) ...
So, is nobody going to ask the obvious question? :unsure:
OK, Stephen, I'll bite...so what did you know, beyond what you said in your earlier posts?

.....

I thought you were never going to ask! ;)

...........................................

So it was one of the earliest concertinas to be made, though now in a very sorry state. I wonder what it's like inside? Usually they have a very intricate brass mechanism, with steel leaf springs, though there is an early example known with a wooden action.

 

Anyway, at least I know where it is ... :unsure:

So how could you tell what it was? By the number and design of the buttons?

 

I was thinking the possibility one of them (Stephen or Neil) had the original "rosewood fretcut ends" laying around their shop from a possible previous encounter from when it was "got at" (perhaps an experiment). I thought it would look kind of nice polished and shiny, but then I'm kind of partial to polished brass.

 

Thanks

Leo ^_^ :) ;)

 

A day later to add: OK I give up. What is the clue to spark somebody to go "Ahah! something special!"? Could it have been the black dots on the keys? Still trying to get a good foundation for identification skills, and other than the brass ends, to me it looks somewhat indistinctive. Unless I'm missing some other blatent clue. Please??

Edited by Leo
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  • 2 weeks later...

Just to round out this topic, Neil Wayne was kind enough to contact me about this item and provide some answers (confirming Stephen's assessment) It makes me realise how much there is still to learn :blink: :

 

"It was indeed an early one, and folks now seem to have agreed on the various features that made it worth a bid! In fact, the 'new' brass ends seem to date from as early as 1900, and are of really high quality -delicately scribed with lines around the button area, and well-buffed finish. The missing frets on this early model would have been braced with a set of six wooden bars around their edge on the end-plate, which allowed the wooden ends to nestle within the action frames: these six struts are still there on this one, glued onto the 'shelf' in the action frame - and one bears the serial number of the instrument. Yes, the pallets are bone, and the springs are a blued-steel curved strip mounted on the fairly complex brass levers: bellows with early star papers, but all having modern and messy tape all over the outer fold, with the glue turning to white slime!! All other features are usual for these pre-serial # 150 models (of which I seem to have around eight....): square end reed, no hole on reed-pan and a 'shelf' of pan supports all around the inner bellows frame, rather than corner pieces glued in. How old? It was sold at Conduit Street the night before the death of King William IV of England! (19 June 1837) - so may not have been played much the next day, except to celebrate Queen Victoria's accession to the throne! - and is Serial Number 122. Strangely, this is one number BEFORE the very first early Wheatstone I owned - Number 123 - which was given to me by Frank Butler (Grandson of George Jones, and a legend in Concertina History) in 1966! You are welcome to post any of this blather to C-NET - but do mention that Steve Chambers may be interested in the early Wheatstone alarm clock I have for sale on www.alarmclockfor bidders.com (!) All the best to all conc pals around the planet! Neil Wayne

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