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Wheatstone 48 Key Treble Aeola From 1911

Paul McMullen

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Wheatstone Treble Aeola

Model No: 17

Serial No: 25185

Identified on the Wheatstone Ledger as having been first sold in 1911


Ebony ends of octagonal shape

48 Keys (Buttons)

Steel reeds

6 fold bellows

Tuning good

Sold with its original rather well worn case.






I'm a newcomer to the world of concertinas, so you'll have to forgive any apparent naivete.

I was given this Aeola by my mother about ten years ago and failed for a long time to understand the significance of my good fortune in receiving such a gift. I'm a little nervous about putting myself forward in this forum, but having made the decision to sell this lovely instrument I'll attempt to offer a little background.


My Great Aunt Lucy was a Brigadier in the Salvation Army and kept a very interesting diary of her spiritual and temporal life. She died in 1968 and we know from her diaries that she bought her first concertina when she was around 18 years of age. Whether this is the Aeola in question I can't really be sure. What I do know is that on her death the Aeola passed into the keeping of her daughter Amy, my mum's cousin.

I knew Amy and she was a warmly charismatic and inspiring personality. She was a well known concertina player in her local Salvation Army corps and is said to have played right up until the day she died in 1995.

For some reason she left it to my Mum who cannot play a note, who in turn has passed it on to me, I think because I know a few tunes on the guitar and I had a connection with her cousin Amy.


As can be seen from the photos, Amy had the instrument overhauled by H Crabb and Sons in 1984.










Whether or not it has had any subsequent servicing I can't say. I have been looking after it for almost ten years now, and have been unable to devote the time I would have liked to learning to play. Consequently it has received almost negligible use, but we have recently established that it is in good working order and in tune! A screw is missing from one of the finger rests, but Steve Dickenson has kindly offered to supply me with one of these (see photo).




Otherwise I would say it's in tip top condition. So it is with some regret (at not being able to keep the instrument in the family) that I am offering it for sale, and in the hope that someone will buy it who can do this fabulous little powerhouse of an instrument some justice.


It has been a fascinating experience for me getting to know about concertinas and the people who play them. This is a very user friendly website and I'd like to congratulate all the contributors and whoever put it together, as it has been very helpful to me in my researches!


I should add that I have been in touch with the Salvation Army to see if there is anyone who would be interested in buying it, but so far I've had no response. For various reasons I'd prefer not to put it on Ebay; not least because of some of the recent postings on this site re: Sniping.


So if there's anyone out there who'd like to come and see it or make me an offer, I'd be very happy to make your acquaintance. By the way I live in Berkshire UK.







Edited by Paul McMullen
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Someone will be pleased to get the history as well as that lovely instrument Paul; lots of us have nice instruments that would have been big investments for the original owners (actually, come to think of it, they still are big investments!) and yet not a clue who originally commissioned them and why.

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I meant him...I already got a thing...




Well fun is something I always look forward to!!

But after all this time I have to concede that the discipline is not for me.

It's a shame and I do feel a bit of a failure; I know an opportunity like this is unique.

It is only my romanticism that has allowed me to hold on to the Aeola for the last ten years, but now it's time to set the music free...


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