Jump to content

E. Myers No. 20 56 - Age?


Felidae
 Share

Recommended Posts

Good afternoon!

 

I am German - please forgive any bad mistakes in English.

 

About 40 years ago, the father of my husband acquired a Concertina in Ireland.

This diatonic instrument with 20 buttons was only played for 2-3 weddings/birthdays, as nobody in the family did really play an instrument.

The end in walnut-wood appearance are in filigree fretwork and the instrument must have had some accidents, as these ends are partially broken and damaged, so that the buttons sometimes stuck.

 

Yesterday I brought the instrument to a repairer, as another wedding approaches an I thought it would be a pity to leave this beauty as it is.

Suddenly the whole story became a detective story for me. My husband guessed the instrument over 100 years old. From its appearance, the repairer guessed about 50 years of age. So I started to look up the internet with the data I took from the concertina and found the following:

 

Marked on the concertina:

 

E. Myers

Manufacturer

27. Walworth Road,

near the Elephant & Castle

 

one time the concertina open, I found a mark on one end "R 20 56"

 

The R might be for the right side, as it was on the right end.

20 might stand for the 20 buttons?

 

My internet search shows E. Myers as a manufacturer in something like 1850. But I didn't find any information about how long that company did exist.

 

Does anybody could give me hint, how to read the number 20 56 or from when to when this E. Myers produced?

I might stop the repair order and search for a real good possibility to get it restaured, if this would be worthwhile.

 

I would be really grateful for any hint you could give me.

 

Thanks & have a nice day!

Felidae

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good afternoon!

 

I am German - please forgive any bad mistakes in English.

 

About 40 years ago, the father of my husband acquired a Concertina in Ireland.

This diatonic instrument with 20 buttons was only played for 2-3 weddings/birthdays, as nobody in the family did really play an instrument.

The end in walnut-wood appearance are in filigree fretwork and the instrument must have had some accidents, as these ends are partially broken and damaged, so that the buttons sometimes stuck.

 

Yesterday I brought the instrument to a repairer, as another wedding approaches an I thought it would be a pity to leave this beauty as it is.

Suddenly the whole story became a detective story for me. My husband guessed the instrument over 100 years old. From its appearance, the repairer guessed about 50 years of age. So I started to look up the internet with the data I took from the concertina and found the following:

 

Marked on the concertina:

 

E. Myers

Manufacturer

27. Walworth Road,

near the Elephant & Castle

 

one time the concertina open, I found a mark on one end "R 20 56"

 

The R might be for the right side, as it was on the right end.

20 might stand for the 20 buttons?

 

My internet search shows E. Myers as a manufacturer in something like 1850. But I didn't find any information about how long that company did exist.

 

Does anybody could give me hint, how to read the number 20 56 or from when to when this E. Myers produced?

I might stop the repair order and search for a real good possibility to get it restaured, if this would be worthwhile.

 

I would be really grateful for any hint you could give me.

 

Thanks & have a nice day!

Felidae

Felidae,

If you can add some photographs you will get better advice. Myers was likely a dealer, not a maker.

Regards

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Felidae,

If you can add some photographs you will get better advice. Myers was likely a dealer, not a maker.

Regards

Paul

 

Hi Paul,

 

yes, this is a good idea, but it will take 2-3 days to come up with them, as the concertina is at the repairer already and I will have to go there.

But why did Emanuel Myers write Manufacturer on the label, if he just was the dealer?

 

Regards

Felidae

Edited by Felidae
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Felidae,I have a Jones made anglo badged Myers, manufacturer,27 Walworth road,London Se1.So I guess they did lable instruments as there own.Whether they actually manufactured any I haven't a clue, Regards David.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Felidae,I have a Jones made anglo badged Myers, manufacturer,27 Walworth road,London Se1.So I guess they did lable instruments as there own.Whether they actually manufactured any I haven't a clue, Regards David.

 

Dear David,

 

any clue about the number?

Did you ever open your instrument and have a look in it?

 

First I did mix up Edward and Emanuel Myers. Obviously Edward was a pure dealer and failed with his business somewhere around 1856. Emanuel is our one of 27 Walworth road and I think maybe Emanuel did manufacture Jones constructions somehow.

 

I hope to meet the repairer for a quick photo session soon.

 

regards

Felidae

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My internet search shows E. Myers as a manufacturer in something like 1850. But I didn't find any information about how long that company did exist.

Felidae,

 

Instruments by Louis Lachenal or George Jones are sometimes found with an E. Myers label, and there have been several threads about them here on Concertina.net. In the E Myers, Manufacturer? thread, Wes Williams has listed the following dates/addresses for him as a "musical instrument manufacturer":

1856 Myers, Emanuel 7A Crown Row, Walworth rd

1865 Myers E. 1 Black Prince row, Walw. rd S

1869 Myers Emanuel, 27 Walworth rd SE

1882 Myers Emanuel, 27 Walworth rd SE

1884 Myers Emanuel, 27 Walworth rd SE

Whilst my 1864 copy of the Musical Directory, Register and Almanac lists him at 7A Crown Row as both a manufacturer and as a professor of music. However, claims to be a "manufacturer" were commonly made by 19th century dealers, but should not be taken seriously.

 

one time the concertina open, I found a mark on one end "R 20 56"

 

The R might be for the right side, as it was on the right end.

20 might stand for the 20 buttons?

You are correct in your supposition that R denotes the right side of the instrument (and L the left), but the number is simply 2056, though it may be broken up like that in the angle at the front corner of the reed pan. This serial number will be that of the actual manufacturer, rather than Myers.

 

Here is a picture of an early Louis Lachenal 20-key Anglo, number 2482, labelled E. Myers:

 

EMyers2482.jpg

 

Whilst a Jones might look more like this one (bearing the label of the dealer J. Wallis):

 

WallisGeorgeJones.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good Morning Stephen!

 

Thanks a lot for all the informations you gave.

 

Looking at the 2 photos, I definitely could identify the Jones-one as very similar to my concertina here and guess it is correct, if I date this instrument around the 1850s.

 

regards,

Felidae

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking at the 2 photos, I definitely could identify the Jones-one as very similar to my concertina here and guess it is correct, if I date this instrument around the 1850s.

Felidae,

 

If it has the 27, Walworth Rd. address, it cannot have been made before the late 1860s (unless Myers put his label into an older instrument). Indeed, Anglo (originally short for Anglo-German, later Anglo-chromatic) concertinas only started to appear in the mid 1850s and were only in their infancy at that time, so they have a different appearance and they're extremely rare.

 

This is what one of the earliest Jones Anglo-chromatics, dating from the late 1850s, looks like:

 

Chambers-Michaelstein-027-W400H300.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always wondered what notes the partial 3rd row was supposed to play on that 26 button variety.

 

I've done up a fingering chart for my 26 key Henry Harley (G/C) which is an early German-made rectangular anglo.(I'll try to include a link). The third row only has 2 keys on each side (labelled "11" & "12") The 3rd accidental is at the thumb end of the middle row (6 keys in that row) and is labelled "0".

 

http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php...ic=7456&hl=

 

The chart is an attachment in the last post on the above topic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd seen that, and it was interesting. But I've been wondering how the Jones 26 button layout would relate to the Lachenal/Wheatstone/Bastari layout; and what the history behind the development of the Anglo's extra buttons was. The third row on the 28 button German concertina (which seems to have later developed into the Chemnizer and Bandoneon as time went on) was a whole tone lower than what we would call the 'C' row, but the Lachenal layout seems to be loosely derived from a C# scale instead. I think the Jefries layout came after the Lachenal; the Jones 40 button layout (which was from, what, about 1885 or so?) is very clearly derived from the Lachenal layout -- I think there's an article where he talks about making the earliest chromatic Anglos, and my guess is that those would be the 26 button one like is pictured above, and my suspicion is that the 26 button layout would look a lot like the later Lachenal layout, maybe just missing the non-accidental notes. I just don't have any actual knowledge. Not that THAT has ever stopped someone on the internet.

 

The Harley's seem to be something of an anomoly in the development within the family of German Concertinas, because their layout doesn't seem to fit anywhere but as an independent development from the common 20 button origin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been wondering [about] the Jones 26 button layout -- I think there's an article where he talks about making the earliest chromatic Anglos, and my guess is that those would be the 26 button one like is pictured above, and my suspicion is that the 26 button layout would look a lot like the later Lachenal layout, maybe just missing the non-accidental notes. I just don't have any actual knowledge. Not that THAT has ever stopped someone on the internet.

That early Jones 26-key is a particularly interesting instrument, and quite possibly the oldest Anglo-chromatic concertina that has survived, especially in such amazingly original condition - even the buckled hand straps are original! As you can imagine, I was quite delighted to find it on a stall in London's Portobello Road Market some 20 years ago.

 

I've already written about it in my Michaelstein paper:

 

[19] 26-key Anglo-chromatic concertina by George Jones, London, no. 246, circa 1858. Bone buttons numbered 1–10 for naturals, semitones indicated with note names on buttons, hinged wooden wind-key, hexagonal rosewood ends with simple fretwork, individual brass reeds, 5-fold green leather bellows. Oval paper label "G. JONES, PATENT CONCERTINA Manufacturer, LONDON."

 

George Jones claimed to have added the first semitones to the German system, making a 22-key instrument, for his own use in 1851 and his "chromatic Anglo-German" with 26 keys three years later.[see note 36] However, it was not until after the death of his employer Jabez Austin, in July 1857, that he started to manufacture concertinas bearing his own name. The date 30/12/61 is written inside this Instrument but it most probably relates to an early repair.

 

Note 36.
The Retirement of Mr. G. Jones
, notice in
Musical Opinion & Music Trade Review
(no. 264, 1899, p. 851) tells us that "he made the first Anglo-German concertina (twenty-two keys) so long ago as 1851; three years later his chromatic Anglo-German (twenty-six keys) was brought out...". His
Recollections of the English Concertina from 1844 by George Jones, Born February 29th 1832
, a memoir written towards the end of his life (died 1919), states "The German concertina having one semitone only [F# on the G row], I made one with 22 keys for my own use and later made one with 26 keys full chromatic scale which was after my greatest success...". Transcribed in: Neil Wayne, Concertina Book, 1986 (unpublished typescript), p. 64.

The semitone keys on the right side are marked #CD, #FG, #AC, whilst the respective reeds are marked C#/D#, G#/F#, C#/Bb, and on the left the keys read #CD, [indecipherable], #GA, and the reeds C#/D#, F#/F#, G#/Bb.

 

The Harley's seem to be something of an anomoly in the development within the family of German Concertinas, because their layout doesn't seem to fit anywhere but as an independent development from the common 20 button origin.

They are indeed anomalies, displaying how non-standard early German instruments could be with their two rows "one-step out" with each other on both sides, though I've also come across examples of Anglo/German concertinas with only one (either) side "out of kilter" like that. Indeed, no doubt for the benefit of people used to such instruments, Jeffries built some of their 39-key Anglos in what was termed "Artistic fingering", with the left-hand rows "one-step out" like that - I've had to convert several of them to "normal" over the years... :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Felidae,

 

If it has the 27, Walworth Rd. address, it cannot have been made before the late 1860s (unless Myers put his label into an older instrument). Indeed, Anglo (originally short for Anglo-German, later Anglo-chromatic) concertinas only started to appear in the mid 1850s and were only in their infancy at that time, so they have a different appearance and they're extremely rare.

 

 

 

 

Dear Stephen,

 

thanks for this additional information. So it might be late 1860s.

Honestly, for me personally 10-15 years more or less are not that important.

 

We will take care about that little beauty now better than before, having in mind, that we both together are not as old as our concertina.

I didn't expect to find out that much about our instrument as say

 

THANKS TO EVERYBODY

 

who gave us information and comments here!

 

regards,

Katrin

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.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...