Jump to content

Advice On Restoring An Wheatstone


Recommended Posts

Nils

 

Funnily enough, that's exactly what I'm doing. I've got a 20 button Lachenal out on loan at the moment, plus I'm discussing loaning another instrument out and I'm fixing up a couple of English concertinas for a similar purpose.

 

I'm based in Aberdeen, but as I said in an earlier post, I am frequently down in West Kilbride so a loan is possible

 

Alex

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 39
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Jeff,

 

Those open-pallet Wheatstones (like my avatar picture) were the very first handful of concertinas ever made and are extremely rare (only 4 are/were known to exist). They are museum pieces of enormous historical interest, but they were essentially prototypes and never played very well (even when new) and I'd recommend you to do absolutely nothing whatsoever with it. Indeed the instrument is going to be worth far more in unrestored original condition (no matter how bad), than restored to even the very highest standard. But if you want a playing instrument you should, perhaps, consider exchanging it for a good one (I've been known to do that kind of thing, hint, hint ;) ).

 

Could we see some photos of yours?

 

Hi Stephen,

She seems to be quite the historical piece.

It also interests me to find out who owned her after 1854 till the 1890's.

The Wheatstone ledgers are great but i come to a standstill after 1854

Would you or anyone reading know where and if i can see George Case's sales ledgers or Joseph Scates?

Your not the first to suggest not touching her or exchanging. :unsure:

Although she is not a pearl open pallet like your's.

I am now told she is a circular fret?

 

i'll try and attach a photo. (Hope this works)Sorry about the quaility of image(Mobile phone)

post-6492-1207563968_thumb.jpg

 

Hi Jeff,

 

My advice that you've quoted above was based on the instrument actually being an open-pallet Wheatstone, but in fact it is a later and less historically important model which was described by Wheatstone's as a "Plain" (often designated "P" in their ledgers). These instruments used cheaper materials and construction methods than the more usual rosewood models of their era - mahogany ends with no fretwork and "bookbinder" bellows (they are also sometimes single-action) - all in order to keep the price down. However, several clues suggest that this instrument was not built by Wheatstone's at all, but is instead by Joseph Scates (who broke away from Wheatstone's after their 1829 Patent expired), and there are no known sales ledgers for either Joseph Scates or George Case.

 

That being the Case (so to speak!), the imperative to preserve it in original condition is greatly diminished, though if the bellows need replacing you may find it hard to get new ones made in the "bookbinder" style - however you may feel that that is not important to you.

Edited by Stephen Chambers
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those open-pallet Wheatstones (like my avatar picture) were the very first handful of concertinas ever made and are extremely rare (only 4 are/were known to exist)...
My advice that you've quoted above was based on the instrument actually being an open-pallet Wheatstone, but in fact it is a later and less historically important model which was described by Wheatstone's as a "Plain" (often designated "P" in their ledgers)...

Stephen, when I saw your first message, I thought "What did I miss? How did he know it was an open-pallet?" Now, seeing your second post, I am curious and need to ask "What made you think it was an open-pallet?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that Jeff may have called it open pallet in the original version of his first post, then edited it later when he realized that he was mistaken.

 

Those open-pallet Wheatstones (like my avatar picture) were the very first handful of concertinas ever made and are extremely rare (only 4 are/were known to exist)...
My advice that you've quoted above was based on the instrument actually being an open-pallet Wheatstone, but in fact it is a later and less historically important model which was described by Wheatstone's as a "Plain" (often designated "P" in their ledgers)...
Stephen, when I saw your first message, I thought "What did I miss? How did he know it was an open-pallet?" Now, seeing your second post, I am curious and need to ask "What made you think it was an open-pallet?"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi all,

I must say that you are a really helpful bunch of people on and off screen. Its really a great forum and Alex thank you for your kind offer.

Sorry all about my mistaken subtitle.

Before i asked the question i had a lot of conflicting information and now through everybodys advice here and research on concertina.com, The Horniman ledgers and collection i have found out so much more. Does anyone else think it might not be a Wheatstone (What would suggest that it is not?)What should i look for to be certain?

Best wishes

Jeff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone else think it might not be a Wheatstone (What would suggest that it is not?)What should i look for to be certain?

Jeff,

 

I'd be going on such details as the differently coloured sharps and flats, and the washers under the endbolt heads - which are typical Scates features, also the eBay seller (eBay listing here) said it was made at Joseph Scates' 32 New Bond Street, London address, and the serial number is 207 (it would be a good bit higher if it was a Wheastone).

 

However, though her initial description was accurate enough:

 

This is an 1847/49 Joseph Scates 48 English Concertina it's in need of restoration.

 

A great collecter's item. Scates was trained by Wheatstone the first British based maker and Scates was the second. The serial number is 207 and it was made in 32 New Bond Street London.

I'm afraid she did then manage to considerably confuse/cloud the issue of who made it by adding first:

 

IT SEEMS THAT THIS INSTRUMENT IS OLDER THAN I THOUGHT GOING BY THE WHEATSTONE LEDGERS AND THE SERIAL NUMBER (D) 207 . TWO WHEATSTONE INSTRUMENTS 208 AND 209 WERE SOLD IN LEDGER C 104A PAGE 11,THE YEAR 1838 SEEMS TO BE A DATE THAT KEEPS COMING UP.. AND THE INSTRUMENT WAS SOLD MARCH IST 1854 LEDGER C 1O48. ALTHOUGH I COULD BE WRONG PLEASE RESEARCH THESE DETAILS YOURSELF TO BE SURE.IS THIS A WHEATSTONE BOUGHT BY SCATES AND REBOUGHT BY WHEATSTONE AND RESOLD TO LACHENAL ?(SEE NAME ON LEDGER ON THE 1ST OF MARCH 1854???)

Then:

 

NAME ON LEDGER NOT LACHENAL???????????DOES ANYONE KNOW THE NAME?

And finally:

 

SO FAR WE HAVE SEEM TO HAVE ESTABLISHED THAT THIS CONCERTINA WAS OWNED AT ONE POINT BY WHEATSTONES 1835/38 THEN JOSEPH SCATES 1847/49 FOLLOWED BY GEORGE CASE IN 1854. MY FAMILY NAME ON MY GRANDFATHERS SIDE IS RODGERS DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE I CAN FIND OUT WHO GEORGE CASE SOLD IT TO ??????????????????????? MANY THANKS IN ADVANCE TARA

But is there any reason to think it is a Wheatstone, rather than a Scates?

Edited by Stephen Chambers
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone else think it might not be a Wheatstone (What would suggest that it is not?)What should i look for to be certain?

Jeff,

 

I'd be going on such details as the differently coloured sharps and flats, and the washers under the endbolt heads - which are typical Scates features, also the eBay seller (listed here) said it was made at Joseph Scates' 32 New Bond Street, London address, and the serial number is 207 (it would be higher if it was a Wheastone). However, I'm afraid she did manage to considerably confuse/cloud the issue of who made it... :unsure:

 

Is there any reason to think it is a Wheatstone?

 

Hi Stephen,

This is confusing, :rolleyes:

Do you know of anyone i could go to send it to who would know?

Jeff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Other Manufacturers

 

Neil Wayne's account of the early concertina years shows that many of the early makers were originally workers at Wheatstone. A lot of the industry was supplied by small companies, or even individuals, who specialised in making a certain part of the concertina. It was therefore possible for someone to set up as a manufacturer if they had enough knowledge of the suppliers. With the limited information available, it is impossible to produce any real dating information for these smaller manufacturers. The following descriptions give what little information I have, which I've only given if I have more data than the instruments in the Horniman.

 

Joseph Scates - 40 Frith Street,Soho.

A former Wheatstone Tuner, Scates set up sometime around 1848/49. He quickly sold out to George Case around 1851 and set up in Dublin as:

 

Joseph Scates, Manufacturer and Professor of the Concertina,

15, Westmorland Street, Dublin.

 

Many, if not all, of his Dublin labelled instruments were supplied by Lachenal or Jones.The highest serial number in the Horniman is 547.

 

George Case - 32 New Bond Street.

'Professor' Case seems to have been much more of a musician and tutor, although Neil Wayne says that he originally worked for Wheatstone. He produced many tutors and arrangements. From 1851 to around 1856 he had his own company, which George Jones says was taken over from Scates, and later sold to Boosey. The earliest 'Case/Boosey' labelled instrument in the Horniman is No.1571, and the nearest 'Case' to that No 960. However Case was buying from Wheatstones in 1851 and 1852,(as was Boosey) so it is possible that some Case labelled instruments may carry Wheatstone serial numbers

 

 

It looks as though its impossible to tell unless we are experts because everyone bought from wheatstones and labelled them..Shame i'm not an expert and obviously neither was the seller....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, Stephen is as good an expert as you'll find anywhere on the history of English-built concertinas -- but there are some things that are hard to establish with certainty 150 years after the fact.

 

It looks as though its impossible to tell unless we are experts because everyone bought from wheatstones and labelled them..Shame i'm not an expert and obviously neither was the seller....
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Stephen,

This is confusing, :rolleyes:

Do you know of anyone i could go to send it to who would know?

Jeff,

 

Such as myself? ;)

 

But I don't think that will be necessary. Let me summarise what we seem to know about this instrument, from various sources, at the moment - though maybe there is something you could add/correct? (Like some decent photos for one thing... :unsure: )

1) To the best of my recollection (I'm in the Pacific North West of America at the moment, whilst my collection of early instruments and my archives are at home, about 5,000 miles away on the West Coast of Ireland) only three makers built these "circular fret", or "Plain", instruments in the 1840s - Wheatstone, Scates and Dove.

 

2) As far as I can make out, this one is labelled Joseph Scates, 32, New Bond Street, London, which would in itself strongly suggest that it was probably made by him. It is numbered 207, which is far too low for it to be a Wheatstone "Plain", also Wheatstone #207 would have been built differently, with an engraved nickel-silver name/serial number badge instead of a paper label.

 

3) The accidentals on a Wheatstone would be uniformly black, whereas Scates alone coloured the sharps and the flats differently - as on this instrument. Also Scates placed washers under the endbolts on his instruments like this - something Wheatstone's did not do.

I see no reason to think this is a Wheatstone, and every reason to believe it is a Scates, and if you found his initials on it - probably on the bellows, or maybe the reed pans (as is often to be found) - then that would prove it conclusively.

Edited by Stephen Chambers
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

 

 

I have just uploaded some more photos this time of decent quality to hopefully understand more on the concertina's history and value. Inside both the serial number 207 and J.Scates are stamped. It would take a professional to open it up with the variety of different screws used over the years.

 

Regards

Jeff

post-6492-1209043457_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


Make a Donation


×
×
  • Create New...