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56 Key Amboyna Aeola


Andie
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Stephen whilst your on this subject I wonder whether you would be kind enough to roughly date mine.It has dovetailed reeds and riveted levers and its serial No 9008.Ive owned it many years and have often wondered about its age.Many thanks,David.post-536-1197819238_thumb.jpgSorry the picture is not very good.

If it's a Wheatstone I can't see how the number can be correct (could it be 29008?) Or is it a Crabb perhaps?

 

Having checked the ledgers and price lists, I'm betting it is 29008. This would make it a model 19 (aeola tenor treble) from late 1921. Seems to fit the photo.

The instrument is certainly a bit of a puzzle as several things seem not to be "right" about it, like rosewood (?) ends, the finger plates and the oval badge, not forgetting the serial number...

 

I too wonder if it shouldn't be #29008, which was built as a metal-ended instrument, and it has been modified at a later date. It even has the SV (single valve - windkey) and WS (wrist straps) that 29008 is listed as having. Does it have the batch number 10 stamped inside it by any chance?

 

If so, the original date is 12th November 1921.

Thanks Paul and Stephen,I have always assumed it was a Wheatstone but maybe it is a Crabb.The sn is 9008 which always puzzled me.The ends are very figured amboyna.The oval plate isfor A.M Ross,principal 499Maryhill rd Glasgow.A retailer and shool if I remember rightly.All the fitting were Gilt but rather thinly I guess as the condition of everything else is superb.Inside it is like new with Ross's ink stamps on the reed boards.I think it is unlikely to be altered as I bought it from the granddaughter of the original owner.I will take off an end to see if it has a batch number and see if there is any other features I have forgotten about.That picture must be even worse than I thought if it looks like rosewood.Time to take some better ones ,that one was for insurance purposes and not a true representation.David

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I have always assumed it was a Wheatstone but maybe it is a Crabb.The sn is 9008 which always puzzled me.The ends are very figured amboyna.The oval plate isfor A.M Ross,principal 499Maryhill rd Glasgow.A retailer and shool if I remember rightly.All the fitting were Gilt but rather thinly I guess as the condition of everything else is superb.Inside it is like new with Ross's ink stamps on the reed boards.

David,

 

Aha, now that you mention Ross, this starts to make more sense! It was he who seems to have commissioned the "mother-of-toilet-seat" New Edeophones from Lachenal's, and Geoff Crabb has reported that:

 

I only know of Ross as a dealer and teacher of concertinas but my grandfather, Henry Thomas Crabb does seem to have made concertinas for Ross during the period 1927 - 1929. From the records it seems that all instruments supplied were of English system and included various models i.e.

48 key Hexagonal Mahogany Trebles "The £5 model",

48 key Hexagonal Metal topped Trebles,

48 key Octagonal Amboyna Trebles,

48 key Hexagonal Metal topped Trebles,

48 key Octagonal Amboyna Tenors

56 key Hexagonal and Octagonal Amboyna Trebles,

56 key Octagonal Ebonised Trebles "The £13 model",

56 key Hexagonal and Octagonal Amboyna Tenor-Trebles,

56 key Hexagonal and Octagonal Amboyna Baritone-Tenors,

64 key Octagonal Amboyna Baritone-Trebles,

64 key Octagonal Metal topped Baritone-Trebles,

66 key Octagonal Metal topped Baritone-Trebles, extended.

 

The name "Ross" was frequently incorporated in the fretwork of metal topped instruments.

So it looks like this is probably one of them!

Edited by Stephen Chambers
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Thanks Stephen thats great.I always thought it was from the late twenties so its good to see some expert opinion to that effect.I've owned it for the last 26years and just always thought of it as a wheatstone it wasn't till you were putting up pictures on this thead that I really started to notice the difference in the fretting.This set me thinking maybe it was from a slightly different period,but no, it seem it was a slightly different maker.Thanks again ,David.

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Oh, and speaking of A. M. Ross, I bought two letters addressed to him off eBay a few months ago:

 

The first is from A. E. Roylance of C. & S. Roylance, Concertina Specialists, Repairers and Tuners, 88, Seymour Street, Euston Square, N.W.1, and dated Jan. 17th 1929. I bought it because it makes reference to The little "Model" of the first form of the English Concertina being still on the shelf. You are one of many who would like to have it.

 

So it seems that Ross was trying to buy it, and no wonder Charles Roylance knew so much about Captain Gardnor's (the first) concertina (my avatar) when he wrote about it in the 1870s, he probably already owned it!

 

The second is from Harry Minting of C. Wheatstone & Co. Ltd., Manufacturers of Concertinas - Music Publishers, 3, Ives Street, Draycott Avenue, London, S.W.3, and dated 19th February 1958. By that time Ross was living at 4, Hutchison Drive, Bearsden, Dunbartonshire, and the letter is about the tuning of his son's concertina.

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Did anyone notice the zero feedback from this seller?

Possible scam?

You can get paranoid about possible scams on eBay - though it's probably justified when there are so many of them to try and snare the would-be concertina buyer, and make him/her nervous when something genuinely good does come along. Indeed, I must confess that when I bought my amboyna tenor-treble on eBay two years ago (as a Buy-it-now for £800 - there's an eBay bargain for you!) I couldn't believe my great good fortune until the postman delivered the parcel and I actually held the instrument in my hands. I'd only been wanting one for 30 years!

 

But the seller of this one enquired here about it six months ago, and has even contributed to this thread, so I wasn't too worried that way. However, as I kept telling myself, having bought Alf Edwards' fabulous Æola only a few weeks ago, I don't need another treble (though prior to that I might have felt differently), and the starting price was extremely high, which is a big deterrent to bidding.

 

Anyway, it looks like I've just agreed a deal on another concertina today (touch wood!), a very historic one that George Bernard Shaw wrote about... :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
ID No. 9008, made April 1927 by H.T. Crabb for Ross. No Batch Number as made as a one off.

Note fretwork to the edge and no external ID, common to Crabb at the time.

 

Geoff.

Thanks for that Geoff.I have written those details on a card with everything else I know of its history and placed it in the case.I hope it may be of interest to its owners in the future.When I next have it open I will also make a note inside so there should be no confusion as to its very skilled maker H.T.Crabb.All the best for the new year,David.

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