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Bentley In A Barn?


joatmon
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Greetings all,

I am truly a newbie to the world of concertinas and am searching for my first instrument of the free reed variety. This is my first post to this august body of concertina enthusiasts and I wish to elicit from you any stories/sea tales/legends/accounts about concertina treasure 'finds'. In casually perusing the Buy&Sell forum pages, I have had my hopes dashed that I would ever come across a concertina on Ebay that sings to me 'Take me , I'm yours, I'm easy (to play) and could be had for tuppence'! It would be encouraging for me (and perhaps others) to hear of those wonderful accounts of found treasures. Something like, "Wheatstone in the woodshed", "Jeffries jumped out of the junkpile", "Lost Lechanal Located", or "Dibs on a Discounted Dipper". Perhaps these types of stories will keep hope alive so a newbie like myself will not be left with buying the latest Chinese offering of a poor Stacci copy made of the finest recycled plastic and paper that (too) much money can buy. I would be happy to hear of these real or imagined concertina acquisitions, so please indulge and impress us all with stories of those lucky discoveries!

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There are a lot of those stories. Most of the ones I've heard are from the 1970s or earlier. Once the current revival started, most were "found" though very rare finds do turn up. And when they do, they are put on ebay where everyone knows their worth. No cheap road to the concertina it seems.

 

That said, some of the old stories are funny (sort of). Frank E. (IIRC) had a funny one about an instrument to be traded for a car, but got away!

 

Ken

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It does happen. Four years ago a friend said to me, "you're into those music box things aren't you, saw one in an auction thats coming up..." I of course say, I'm not into music boxes and forget about it. Later, the penny drops and I ring him and get the site address. Its an auction in a small town, of a musical instrument museum. The music box turns out to be a great Jeffries G/D and I get it for a moderate sum.

 

Still hoping for the Bentley. Would be happy with one of the pre-blower jobs...

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Ghent
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There are still a lot of treasures out there, most assuredly. My entry into the world of concertinadom came 10 years ago at the old songs festival in Altamont NY. I just happened to walk in on a discussion re. a concertina about to be put up for adoption at the used instrument table. I asked how much he was hoping for, and he quoted me a price of 300$. I gave him 350$ on the spot, and have been enjoying my good fortune ever since. It turned out to be a beautiful Jeffries Duet in the key of F.

Life can be sweet at times.... E.

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Still hoping for the Bentley. Would be happy with one of the pre-blower jobs...

Not a Bentley, but...

A few years ago a relative of mine was hired to "clean up" an old property. That included cutting back weeds and brush and dismantling the house (one of his professional skills), and he was told that he could keep anything he found. Among the weeds (the property was
quite
overgrown) was a 1948 Dodge, in surprisingly good condition. As per agreement, he was allowed to keep it, and he had it restored and sold it for a good price.
:)

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Hi,Joatmon,Over the last thirty years I have spent many hours searching for concertina "bargains".For twenty of those I ran an antique business,and you would think that would be a good source but I only ever bought a couple of duets cheaply.Oh and on a buying trip to an old fashion cattle come chattel market I bought a nice Jones anglo for a few pounds, around the early 90s.I would say my best buy was just a couple of years ago when I was winding down the the business and was working as a maintenence manager in a nursing home.I had been widening an entrance and preparing it for a new surface when I was rained off.Hoping the weather might improve I took a couple of hours off and visited a local antique shop.Really old school dealers that would sell you the trousers you were wearing if you weren't careful.After chatting for an hour or so I left only to find myself blocked in by another vehicle.Whilst back inside looking for the owner of the car I noticed the table behind the place where I had stood for the whole time I'd been there had amogst bric a brac and china what I could see was definately a Jefferies leather case.Well that must be worth having to keep something in ,I thought.I ventured over and casually picked it up and guess what,it was heavy.When I peeped inside my eyes nearly feel out, a beatiful 30button 1890s anglo.Now as I said these were tricky dealers I had dealt with for many years, and I had been in situations where they had taken items off sale if I was interested and they suspected they may have under priced them.Normally things they were uncertain of they took to Christies orBonhams to get a valuation.But I think this time they had based there asking price on the fact that a few weeks before this they had bought a huge piano accordion with a nickel fretted end which they had difficulty turning a profit on.Anyhow I nonchalantly glanced at the price tag and was in even greater shock it seemed like they must have left off a nought.I didn't even take the concertina out of the case I probably couldn't have my hand were shaking so much.I struggled to hand over the cash with out any signs of excitment,reminded them I was always interested in similar items and left.I drove along the road towards home knowing I was far to high to go back to work and pulled into the first layby.Now it was time to see what I had bought and whether it had two ends or any reeds.Not only did it have everthing it should it also had a sweet set of playable reeds which I would guess had not produced music for probably 75years.I sat playing in my van on the side of the road with tears pouring down my cheeks.To date all I have done is replace the vales,pads and hand straps.Everthing else is original including the old pitch and a few notes that need touch tuning.So my advice is it may take thirty years but it can be worth the search.Regards ,David.

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Around 1980 I was at a bus stop with my concertina and an old man sitting next to me told me that he had one that he was interested in selling. It was an English, and since I play Anglo, so I didn't buy it myself, but I took his name and telephone number and wound up giving it to someone a few weeks later who was shopping for an English. He wound up buying it for a good price, though not a great one.

 

But I agree with others that the existence of eBay and the increased interest in concertinas makes these finds much less common today, at least in the British Isles and the US.

 

Daniel

 

Greetings all,

I am truly a newbie to the world of concertinas and am searching for my first instrument of the free reed variety. This is my first post to this august body of concertina enthusiasts and I wish to elicit from you any stories/sea tales/legends/accounts about concertina treasure 'finds'. In casually perusing the Buy&Sell forum pages, I have had my hopes dashed that I would ever come across a concertina on Ebay that sings to me 'Take me , I'm yours, I'm easy (to play) and could be had for tuppence'! It would be encouraging for me (and perhaps others) to hear of those wonderful accounts of found treasures. Something like, "Wheatstone in the woodshed", "Jeffries jumped out of the junkpile", "Lost Lechanal Located", or "Dibs on a Discounted Dipper". Perhaps these types of stories will keep hope alive so a newbie like myself will not be left with buying the latest Chinese offering of a poor Stacci copy made of the finest recycled plastic and paper that (too) much money can buy. I would be happy to hear of these real or imagined concertina acquisitions, so please indulge and impress us all with stories of those lucky discoveries!

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joatmon here,

Great to hear these stories, keep them coming; my spirits are lifting! Its like watching the 'Antique Road Show' and seeing a pre-war Martin guitar come on that was got for a song at a pawn shop. Nice to see that good Karma is alive and well. "Hope Springs Eternal!"

Regards to all,

joatmon (Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None)

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Bastard or lucky devil?

 

If you are talking about Martin guitars, it remembers me off a true story that is really about a vintage Martin guitar with a mahogany top. A couple of years, on a flee market in a little village in Belgium, not very far from here, an old lady sold many of her things, among which the old guitar of her late husband. She did not have any clue about its value, and she was asking something like 50 dollars for a Martin with its crocodile case. Quite a bargain for such a pre-war guitar. So what would you think that one my musical "friends" did ? Right, he managed to get an extra 10 off the price and bought it for 40 (the bastard).

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Greetings again,

I was just bouncing around this site when I happened to come across the story 'How I Acquired My Crabb'

By Roger Digby, 2001. There's a link on the home page under this title to a well told tale of what has to be an undeniable 'serendipitous treasure find'. All should read it; all will enjoy!

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hello,

 

I live in california and have for mostbof my life. ive spent agood number of years hitting pawn shops, and 2nd hand stores. In the time I ahev searched these shops, I do not recall ever seeing any concertinas, but I continue looking.

 

In california, you will find upon occasion smaller 2nd hand shops, often with the owners/staff being hispanic. i ahve found my best "find" at these stores (sorry to take advantge of peopel, but what comes around...).

 

I have found that very few people in california even know what a concertina is, and if they think its an anccordion, well then you will likely pick it up for a song.

 

A friend of mine decided he wanted to learn to play mandolin, so I took him to an antique shop. the owner provided us with an older neoploitan style (round back) Mandolin, witht he caveat "well, it has some broken strings...", apparently alot of people think thats a big deal, my friend could ahve got this mandolin for a song because it had "broken Strings", however he choose instead to learn to play bass.

 

That was about 20 years ago, not sure if the owners have wised up.

 

I also got an excellent T-9 toaster (ahem, mad ein 1942 in the U.S.) I bought it for $5 and sold it for close to $100 (I forget the exact selling price). I knew anythign built in the U.S. during WWII must be worth something. Thes etoasters actaully sell for upwards of $200.

 

So, the treasure is there, you just have to not feel to guilty about aquiring it from the ignorant, as by definition the only way to get a killer deal is to take advantage of somebody less knowledagble than yourself.

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In about 1967 a friend of mine who was into motorcycles in a big way found a 1942 Indian in a scrapyard or somewhere. He got it for nothing I think. His parents moved house shortly after and he was told to "get rid of that pile of junk" if you want to come with us. He gave it to me. When I brought it home in several wheelbarrow loads my father said "what are you doing with that pile of junk" Since then its been rebuilt several times and I've travelled many 1000 of mile on it, and its worth a few £1000. Shortly after I got it running it was spotted by some other bikers who told me where there was another of the same model. They said the owner might well give it to me. He did! I still have them both,

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In the late 60s where I was you could buy a 1943 741B Indian for £6, still in the packing case. I later bought one, and while it was the slowest motorcycle I ever rode it will still be going out there somewhere, it was so slow it is probably on the same trip...

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Ghent
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A friend of mine decided he wanted to learn to play mandolin, so I took him to an antique shop. the owner provided us with an older neoploitan style (round back) Mandolin, witht he caveat "well, it has some broken strings...", apparently alot of people think thats a big deal, my friend could ahve got this mandolin for a song because it had "broken Strings", however he choose instead to learn to play bass.

 

That was about 20 years ago, not sure if the owners have wised up.

 

Still see it occasionally, missing strings, missing bridge and they think it is broke.

 

Alan

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Longines top quality swiss wristwatch, 1950's, gold case, recent valuation £2000, found in a charity shop a few years ago, price £5. It needed a £150 refurb and a new strap.

 

Even better, if you gave me an unlimited budget to buy any watch I'd choose something just like it. I'm really proud of it.

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I've just had a phone call from a bin man
Am I correct in guessing that a "bin man" is the fellow who collects the trash?

 

One of my high-school friends worked summers for his uncle's waste hauling business and brought me a few musical (but non-concertina) treasures that I got for free.

 

One was a National "Princess" lap steel guitar in rough shape. I got it working, but didn't have the means or knowledge at the time to do a proper "restoration" so it probably lost most resale value. I still have it and play occasionally.

 

Another time he gave me an ailing "Black face" Fender Bassman amplifier (without the speaker cabinet). At the time my dad had access to lots of electronic surplus, so he set me up with the tubes (valves) I needed. I used the thing for several years. About 5 years ago I dusted it off, adjusted it and sold it on eBay for about $600.

 

My friend did end up getting a treasure of his own from my family: He borrowed our vintage Triumph Oscillograph Wobbulator and we forgot to collect it from him when we moved house and have since lost touch with him.

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Am I correct in guessing that a "bin man" is the fellow who collects the trash?

 

Yes you are. You have trash cans, we have dustbins. Therefore we have (dust)bin men and you have garbage collectors - go figure! :rolleyes:

 

An Oscillograph Wobbulator sounds fascinating but I'd rather find an old leather box with an Aeola in it - at least I'd have some inkling of what to do with it! :unsure: :P

 

Unless of course it was an anglo Aeola..... :o *shudders*

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