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Lachenal Anglo No 92

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I have just bought this concertina off ebay. It is a 20 button Anglo, rosewood ends and described by the seller as probably Lachenal. Label reads: IMPROVED ENGLISH CONCERTINA WARRANTED LONDON MANUFACTURED

 

It arrived today and on opening it to look for the serial no to estimate is date was surprised to find only a handwritten number in pencil on each end 92L and 92R. The action is lachenal type, but the levers are steel rather than brass. The reedpans have a parallel layout with steel reeds. Its fairly leaky, cracked action board at the R side, and one broken reed, but the reeds that do sound have a strong confident sound.

 

Is this really Lachenals 92nd Anglo, or some other make? I was attracted to it by the detailed fretwork, which is clearly of a higner standard than the typical wooden ended Lachenal.

post-9-1078252977.jpg

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Label reads: IMPROVED ENGLISH CONCERTINA WARRANTED LONDON MANUFACTURED

Theo,

 

I have seen concertinas with that label which were made by the Nickolds family, though the fretwork on this one does look very fine for one of theirs.

 

... on opening it to look for the serial no to estimate is date was surprised to find only a handwritten number in pencil on each end 92L and 92R.

The pencilled number sounds more like a batch number (for manufacturing purposes) than a serial number.

 

The action is lachenal type, but the levers are steel rather than brass.

Are the pillars, on which the levers pivot, similar to Lachenal but open on one side ? (More like a "C" than an "O".)

 

The reedpans have a parallel layout with steel reeds.

You should find that the reed is held in place, on its shoe, by a brass "nut" (clamping plate) with two screws passing through it. Is this "nut" drilled to receive these two screws, or does it have a groove in each side for them ?

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Very interesting. I've not heard of the Nicolds family.

 

Are the pillars, on which the levers pivot, similar to Lachenal but open on one side ? (More like a "C" than an "O".)

 

Yes exactly like that

 

 

Is this "nut" drilled to receive these two screws, or does it have a groove in each side for them ?

 

The nut has a deep groove in each side. The Nuts are very much broader that usual and the securing screws are brass, all the other concertinas I've been inside have steel screws.

 

Theo

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Are the pillars, on which the levers pivot, similar to Lachenal but open on one side ? (More like a "C" than an "O".)

Yes exactly like that

Is this "nut" drilled to receive these two screws, or does it have a groove in each side for them ?

The nut has a deep groove in each side. The Nuts are very much broader that usual and the securing screws are brass, all the other concertinas I've been inside have steel screws.

Then my first conclusion, based on the label, was correct. The combination of those two features is only found in concertinas made by the Nickolds family, the brass securing screws are typical too.

I have a late, English system, example beside me, with the label "LATEST IMPROVED CONCERTINA, NICKOLDS AND CO., Manufacturers, LONDON", also rubber-stamped internally "F. C. NICKOLDS, Concertina Manufacturer, 161, Clarendon Road, Notting Hill" (one of many addresses), which has similar batch numbers (R16 and L16) pencilled inside the ends and no serial number, like yours, but some of their concertinas do have serial numbers, which go into the 8000's. Unfortunately the vast majority of their instruments do not have labels, or any other markings, to identify them, or they bear only the labels of the dealers they were made for.

I've not heard of the Nicolds family.

They were the toolmakers and metal workers at Wheatstone's, until they were displaced by the superior tooling and the machinery of Louis Lachenal in 1848. They set up as makers themselves in that year. Frederick Charles Nickolds (one of the sons) seems to have carried on making into the 1890's.

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Wow! I am delighted to get such in depth information. Thank you Stephen.

 

I'll now set about getting it into good playing order!

 

Theo

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And I shall have to look a little more closely at concertinas on eBay that are claimed to be by Lachenal !

 

(You could have found me bidding against you on it.)

 

Good luck with the restoration.

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I don't know if Stephen has researched the Nickolds addresses, but for the benefit of other readers, here is a rough guide:

 

1856 THOS. NICKOLDS; CONC MAKER; 7, LOWER BRUNSWICK TCE.

1856 FRED’K CHAS. NICKOLDS;CONC MAKER GOULDEN TCE.

1856,9 NICKOLDS BROS, CONC. MAKER; 5, WOODBRIDGE ST

 

1861,2,4 NICKOLDS, FRED’K CHAS, 5, WOODBRIDGE ST

 

1865,6,8 Nickolds Fredk. Chas. 143 Holloway rd N

 

1870,2,4 FRED’K NICKOLDS, 44 NORLAND RD, NOTTING HILL

 

1876 FRED’K NICKOLDS 44 NORLAND RD + 161 CLARENDON RD

1878 FRED’K NICKOLDS 161 CLARENDON RD

 

1880,2,5,6 FRED’K NICKOLDS + SON, 203, NEW NORTH RD

1888 Nickolds & Son, 156 Kingsland road E

 

I haven't found anything later, but if anybody comes across Nickolds Bros c.1920 in Enfield, Middlesex this is a later generation who ran a music shop.

 

I've also come across a Nickolds anglo with a stamping on the hand rest with the words on the label in this query, plus N&S and a symbol, very much in the same style as Lachenal.

 

best wishes ..wes

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Wes,

 

Thanks for the very valuable information!

 

 

Wes, Stephen, and all,

 

Years ago I saw very briefly a 28 keyed, brass-reeded anglo belonging to another musician. I was not that knowledgeable about the early makers at that time, but remember thinking that the action was not typical of either Lachenal, Jones, Crabb, etc. It had very fine fretwork (mahogany?) but brass reeds, an unusual combination. I don't remember exactly how the action or reedframes were made, but I do remember very distinctly that there was a four-digit (serial?) number ink-stamped on the soundboards - not with a metal stamp, as most of the makers used, but with a rubber, wood, or linoleum block that did not leave an indentation. Of course, this may have been added by another party after manufacture. But there was no typical, impressed serial number.

 

Stephen's mention of rubber-stamped identification in a Nickolds makes me wonder, has anyone seen a similar stamped number that does not indent into the wood in a Nickolds-labeled anglo?

 

Thanks,

 

Paul

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I don't know if Stephen has researched the Nickolds addresses, but for the benefit of other readers, here is a rough guide:

I have indeed Wes, my rough notes, from The Post Office London Directory, list the following (though I seem to have only looked, so far, up to 1865):

 

1848 Nickolds John, tool ma. 4 Clark's pl. Baggnige wells rd.

[also]Nickolds Elizh. (Miss), straw hat ma. [same address]

 

1849-53 Nickolds John, machinist, 5, Woodbridge st. nth.

 

1854-59 Nickolds Bros. concertina ma. 5, Woodbridge st. nth

 

1856 Nickolds Fredk. Chas. conc. ma. 1, Goulden ter. Barnsb. rd.

 

1856-58 Nickolds Thos. concrtna. ma. 7, Low Brunswk. ter. Barnsb. rd

 

1857 Nickolds Fredk. Chas. conc. ma. 2, Goulden ter. Barnsb. rd.

 

1860-64 Nickolds Fredk. Chas. concertina ma. 5, Woodbridge St. N.

 

1865 Nickolds Fredk. Chas. concertina maker, 143, Holloway Rd. N.

 

The Musical Directory, Register and Almanac still lists F.C. Nickolds at 143, Holloway Rd. in 1870, in 1874 he is at 44, Norland Rd. and in 1875 he is both at that address and at Clarendon Rd.

 

Which agrees very much with your findings, but I would always tend to conclude that directory entries, like these, are more a reflection of the situation when the directory was compiled (presumably the previous year ?), than when it is dated.

 

I also have some Census information for them. In 1861 F.C.Nickolds was living at Woodbridge St., with his wife and 5 children. In 1881 he was at 203, New North Rd., and in 1891, age 64, he was staying at a boarding-house in Brighton (on holiday ?), while Thomas Nickolds, concertina maker, was a lodger at 46, Lion St., Newington, Surrey, in 1881.

 

I haven't found anything later, but if anybody comes across Nickolds Bros c.1920 in Enfield, Middlesex this is a later generation who ran a music shop.

The 1901 Census lists a Frederick Nickolds, age 46, pianoforte dealer, Enfield, as well as a Harry Nickolds, age 43, Chip. Barnet, pianoforte dealer & tuner.

 

I've also come across a Nickolds anglo with a stamping on the hand rest with the words on the label in this query, plus N&S and a symbol, very much in the same style as Lachenal.

Sounds interesting !

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