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Help! Uhlig`s Concertina 1860


Spilmann
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Hello!

I'm from Germany and I#m playing a lot of instruments like bagpipe or shawns.

 

Now I'm looking for a concertina but the only model i fell in love for is Carl Friedrich Uhlig's Concertina:

uligs_56_key_1860s_ch.jpg

Isn't it wonderfull? :rolleyes:

 

Ok, if searched at many internet shops but i didnt find any model which is looking similar a little bit.

 

Can anybody help me to find such a lovely instrument!

 

Thanks for reading

 

Andrew

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:P Please reserve the third one you find for me !!

 

However Andrew, where do you live in Germany. I am German too and shall come beginning of <March to Germany (Frankfurt Aerea)

 

Would like to know more ablut your Music and ismpossible try to play togehter.

 

I own a Chemntizer made buy F Uhlig..., which is in good shape.

I made it tune and revise and it also a beautiful box. At least you could have a look to it.

 

I am not rteally keen to sell,. but would be ready for doing it, if somebody really likes it.

 

I am actually concentrade on the anglo Concertina and have to fincae a master piece which is in construction.

 

Joachim Delp

 

My e-mail address is : JoachimDelp@aol.com

 

Ich hoffe von Dir zu lesen. Mach's gut "

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Andrew,

 

                                                            1133941917_Uhligstyle56-tonig.jpg.d6dd2c91d7ddf31587aa8a9b0b55a7d7.jpg

 

That is one of my concertinas, I presume you found the picture on Harry Geuns' website (?) I'm glad you like it, but I have bad news for you, in that I'm afraid that I have no intention of selling it.

 

I also have bad news for Paul, as the reeds, like all the other early German concertinas that I have, are made of German silver (neusilber), not steel.

 

I bought this instrument from my old friend, the antique dealer & banjo collector, Reuben Reubens, about 20 years ago, at an Antiques Fair in Luton, Bedfordshire (England), where he had just bought it off one of the stalls. It even still has its original buckled, patent leather, straps, but the most striking feature is the windkey, which is a piece of ivory carved to resemble a forearm, complete with hand.

 

The attribution to Uhlig is not mine, there is no maker's name on it, though it may well be from Chemnitz.

 

Joachim, I would be very interested to see your Uhlig, when we meet in Frankfurt !Please let me know more about it.

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

 

Edited by Stephen Chambers
Edited to add photo.
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Hi Stephen,

 

Yes, I have some of the ones with German-silver (nickel-silver) reeds - though not this early. I had one large 3 row hexagonal German concertina (1890s?) with the tongues nickel-silver on one side and brass on the other side.

 

But concertinas with a very similar appearance to the photo of yours, square and with 20 to 30 (or more) keys, were made later on with steel reed tongues on zinc plates. One of these (smaller than the big Chemnitzers, Scheffler'sche, etc.) is what I'm looking for! I thought the picture of this one might communicate a search image better than I have done so far. Of course some of these steel-reeded German concertinas were also hexagonal, as were a couple that recently sold on ebay.

 

Paul

Edited by Paul Groff
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@Joachim

I'm from Regensburg and I'm in an band called Spielleut Pfennigfuchser.

The site is under construction and especially Photos and mp3 will follow.

We're playing medieval tunes but not neomedíeval - we're more classic :D guys!

Frankfurt is a little bit too far for a student i think....sorry ;)

 

edit: Ich hab grad erst gelesen, dass du ja eine der von Uhligs Konzertinas hast; sieht so ähnlich aus oder ganz anders wär super wenn du evtl mal ein Bild posten könntest!

 

@stephen

You have it ?

Can you give me some datas about your model - perhaps i build it myself.

I think it isn't so difficult to do.

 

But theres one thing i dont know - why, no concertina constructor, builds such a lovley instrument?

It couldn't be that there are only two concertinas built like this!

 

 

 

Keep on piping! (this is my standard sentense i ever write but what have to write in a concertina forum?)

 

Keep on pushing and pulling? or concertinaing?

 

Whatever

 

Bye,

Andrew

Edited by Spilmann
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Spilmann said:
@stephen

You have it ?

 

 

 

                                                         598773386_Uhligstyle56-tonig.jpg.5e8a86f9c3f40e466e4bece6709c816c.jpg

 

Yes, that is my photograph, and the instrument is one in my collection of historical concertinas. The image has been reproduced by both Harry Geuns', and also by Daniel Melander's "Concertina Cafe" website.

 

Quote
Can you give me some datas about your model - perhaps i build it myself.

I think it isn't so difficult to do.

 

The basic design is simple enough, it is of 100% standard German construction, the biggest problem would be to reproduce the external appearance. You would need to be able to veneer rosewood, and it would probably be a big problem to find a similar gold-embossed paper for the bellows frames, you would also need to carve a similar windkey.

 

Perhaps a later, small, German instrument could be adapted to look like it ?

 

Quote
But theres one thing i dont know - why, no concertina constructor, builds such a lovley instrument?

 

Probably because the style became obsolete 140 years ago ?

 

Quote
It couldn't be that there are only two concertinas built like this!

 

I'm sure that there were more of them (I think this one is numbered 42), but have any other examples survived ?

 

Quote
Keep on piping! (this is my standard sentense i ever write but what have to write in a concertina forum?)

Keep on pushing and pulling? or concertinaing?

 

How about "Keep squeezing !" (It should do for both pipers and concertina players.)

 

 

 

Edited by Stephen Chambers
Edited to add links and photo.
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But theres one thing i dont know - why, no concertina constructor, builds such a lovley instrument?

 

Probably because the style became obsolete 140 years ago ?

 

"Became obsolete" ....what do you mean by that? Reeds? Mechanism? Rectangular?

Size? Veneer? Decorations?...

Why are anglos not foursided (or eightsided...) by the way?

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But theres one thing i dont know - why, no concertina constructor, builds such a lovley instrument?
Probably because the style became obsolete 140 years ago ?
"Became obsolete" ....what do you mean by that?

Commercial makers of concertinas abandoned that particular combination of details long ago, in favor of what they considered to be improved designs.

Reeds? Mechanism? Rectangular?

Size? Veneer? Decorations?...

All of the above.

Each of those details has seen major changes in the popular models of concertinas, in many cases in multiple diverging directions.

 

Why are anglos not foursided (or eightsided...) by the way?
Some are.

 

Chris Timson has a 4-sided Herrington anglo. And the entire families of bandoneons, Chemnitzers, etc. are descended from the Uhlig original.

 

Wheatstone made quite a few 8-sided anglos, though far more 6-sided ones. Bob Tedrow is now making his own "Aeola" model.

 

There have even been 12-sided anglos. I've had the pleasure of trying one.

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Boa said:
Stephen Chambers said:
Quote
But theres one thing i dont know - why, no concertina constructor, builds such a lovley instrument?
Probably because the style became obsolete 140 years ago ?

"Became obsolete" ....what do you mean by that? Reeds? Mechanism? Rectangular?

Size? Veneer? Decorations?...

 

When I used the word "style" I was mainly referring to the external appearance of the instrument. Concertinas, and perhaps accordions even more so, have been subject to the whims and fancies of fashion, like clothes or architecture. This concertina has two particularly distinctive features that do not appear on later instruments :

 

Firstly, the wide band of embossed gilt paper around the bellows frames, which I have only otherwise seen on early German accordions, dating from the 1850's.

 

Secondly, the carved ivory windkey, in the shape of a forearm with hand, which I have only otherwise seen in Philip Jewell's patent, for a 3-row German concertina, of 29th August 1861. (Though I have been told [but cannot confirm] that, more recently, Colin Dipper has made an instrument with a windkey like it.)

 

Quote
Why are anglos not foursided (or eightsided...) by the way?

 

This gets a bit complicated, because it becomes necessary to define what is, or is not, an "anglo". The word tends to be used loosely, these days, to describe any concertina that plays a different note on the press to that on the draw, but more correctly, an anglo (short for anglo-German) is a version of the German concertina made using English construction.

 

The internal design of an English concertina is radial, so the natural shape for it is that of a "squared circle", hence they have been made with 6, 8, or 12 sides.

 

The internal design of a German concertina is parallel, and hence very suitable for an oblong (or "square") shape. However, by the mid 1850's, German makers had started to also make concertinas in 6, and 8-sided form, but purely for appearance sake (and with export markets in mind ?).

 

Below is a photograph of a German "octagon concertina" (as they are described in old tutor books), from about 1855-60. Judging by the labels on its cardboard box, and the location of the person who sold it to me, it has spent all its life in Kent, until I bought it off eBay last year.

 

                            post-5-1078380534.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Stephen Chambers
Edited typo - it only took me 16 years to notice!
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Do you consider Harley's instruments "anglos?"

No, there is nothing "Anglo" about Harley's instruments. They are "German concertinas" by any normal definition, in both design and construction (regardless of where, or by whom, they may, or may not, have been made/modified) with their rectangular shape, parallel wooden actions, glued-on buttons, and long reedplates.

 

What can you tell us about them?

Harley was already selling concertinas by 1865, because he advertised them in the Musical Times on 1st October that year:

 

"CONCERTINAS EXTRAORDINARY Harley's Celebrated Concertinas with German fingering and very broad notes (vibrators), made entirely by hand, will stand any amount of hard wear, seldom get out of order or require tuning. They are made to order and tuned to any required pitch. Henry Harley practical tuner, maker and repairer. 20 Castle-Street. City-Road, Finsbury."

 

My oldest one, stamped "Henry Harley, Maker", probably dates back to that time and has a very nice, English-made, rosewood-veneered case. But the ends of that instrument aren't fretted, having (typical German-style) drilled designs in them instead and featuring a cornucopia on the right-hand side - an emblem that has been identified to me by (the German concertina researcher and author) Maria Dunkel as signifiying this concertina is actually the work of Ernst Bässler (est. 1860) at Grünberg in Saxony. There are also some German-style pencil markings inside it, on the bellows frames, but its nickel-silver reeds (on zinc long plates) are twice as wide as any normal German ones and may be replacement "broad notes (vibrators)" added by Harley.

 

Judging by some other examples I have seen, early on, Harley seems to have modified German concertinas to give them a more "English" appearance. This "Anglicisation" (or should that be "Anglo-icisation"? ;)) usually involved cutting out the areas of the end that had a pattern of holes drilled in them, German-style, and replacing them with fresh timber in which fretwork was cut, English-style. The ends were then sanded down (which tended to also obscure the numbers of the buttons stamped into them, German-style) and ebonised (to hide what had been done). The German woodscrews in the ends were replaced with endbolts, and they were given leather bellows. An extra 3, or 4, smaller buttons were also added to the original 22 keys.

 

I too am of the opinion that Harleys are German as the fretwork below the handles on the four that I have seen has been modified from a series of holes to fretwork

 

I'd compare this activity to what the Nottingham "Accordeon Makers", William Winrow, Jabez Gregory, and Mathew Howson were doing, around the same time, relabelling French accordions as being of their own make, and sometimes changing the brass reeds in them to broad steel ones. Or perhaps more like what John Clare of Sheffield did - heavily modifying French accordions to produce an instrument he named "the English accordion".

 

But later (and more common) Harleys seem to be of different manufacture, still with parallel wooden actions and long reedplates (that have an oval cartouche, bearing Harley's name stamped into them), broad steel reeds, and fretwork cut into their ends from the outset.

 

Harley has been proving a hard subject for genealogical research thus far, as his life seems to be without a beginning (in fact the first trace of him at present is that 1865 advertisement), and he can only be found on the Censuses for 1871, 1881, and 1891. His birthplace is given consistently on those records as Saxmundham, Suffolk, with inferred dates of birth of 1832 or '33 (so before Civil Registration started in 1837).

 

In both 1871 and 1881 he was living at 22, Brunswick Place, Shoreditch (also his business address, on most of his concertinas), a house in multiple occupation, whilst in 1891 he had 2 rooms in a similar property at 5, Brunswick Place.

 

As best as I can tell (without ordering the relevant Death Certificate - though it looks pretty certain) he died in the second quarter of 1891, not long after that year's Census was taken, aged 58.

 

And weren't there square "anglos" by Jones in the early years?

I have never heard of any square anglos by Jones, though his catalogue shows that he did sell German concertinas and melodeons.

 

Edited for clarification, and to update.

Edited by Stephen Chambers
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