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Lachenal Models


Jay Lamsa
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I've just recently gotten a Lachenal (English) from I believe the 1880's - # 25830. I read here a bit about the different models - Excelsior (the one I have), Inimitable, Non-pareil, etc. Can anyone point me to any references abnout the different models produced by Lachenal, and their relationship to each other? Why is so little information (apparently) available on Lachenal?

Thanks!

Jay

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Can anyone point me to any references abnout the different models produced by Lachenal, and their relationship to each other?

The models listed, in the early 1900's, were :

 

48 Keys, Double Action, Screwed Notes, and Warranted. Compass, 3 3/8 Octaves from G below to second C above stave.

1. Mahogany-In Deal, paper covered box ... ... ... ... £2 2 0

2. Rosewood-Superior tone and finish, mahogany box ... ... £2 12 6

3. Rosewood-Extra superior tone and finish, five-fold bellows, mahogany box ... £3 5 0

4. Rosewood-Best finish, five-fold morocco bellows, moulded edges, keyholes bushed with cloth, to prevent rattling, rosewood box ... ... £5 0 0

5. Rosewood-Extra best finish, five-fold morocco bellows, German silver keys, rosewood box ... ... £6 0 0

6. Rosewood-NEWLY IMPROVED, ornamented throughout, silver-tip keys, fine and pure tone, rosewood box ... ... £7 0 0

7. Rosewood-Same finish as No. 4, with tempered steel reeds, rosewood box ... ... £8 0 0

8. THE PARAGON-Rosewood-Extra best finish, German silver keys, tempered steel reeds, which produce a rich, full, round, sonorous, and yet withal most mellow and flute like quality of tone, a combination never hitherto attained, rosewood box ... ... £10 0 0

9. THE INIMITABLE-Rosewood, same finish as No. 6, with tempered steel reeds, rosewood box ... ... £12 0 0

10. THE EXCELSIOR-Ebony-Silver tip keys, very best quality, tempered steel reeds, broad scale, and all the best improvements, ebony box ... ... £13 0 0

11. THE NONPAREIL-Amboyna-All pertaining to exterior finish tastefully matched, tempered steel reeds as "The Excelsior", and all essential requisites of a truly genuine instrument, amboyna box ... ... £14 0 0

From No. 8, with 56 keys, £2 extra.

Nickel Plated Tops to any of the above Instruments, 20/- extra.

 

New Model Concertinas

... with raised Ebony ends, all Leather Bellows, Silver Tip or Glass Keys, Silver Plated Fittings, Lachenal's Patent Bowing Valves (if ordered), and Square Leather Case specially made ... ... £16 0 0

...Amboyna Wood, with Silver Gilt Fittings 10/- extra.

[There was also a rosewood-ended New Model, not listed, that probably filled the price gap at £15 0 0.]

 

The Edeophone

... in Ebony, Silver Tip or Glass Keys and Silver Plated Fittings ... ... £17 0 0

... Amboyna Wood, with Silver Gilt Fittings 10/- extra

 

 

It is interesting to compare the above prices with those at the time of the 1862 Exhibition, when No. 1, then the only model to have a name, "THE PEOPLE'S CONCERTINA", cost the same price, and No. 6 cost more, at 8 Guineas (£8 8 0). The Amboyna model, with steel reeds, was also slightly dearer at 14 Guineas (£14 14 0), rather than £'s.

 

Why is so little information (apparently) available on Lachenal?

There is very little known about any of the makers, though perhaps relatively more about Lachenal than most. I have published a paper on his early career, which you can look at here. I am also working on an article for the first edition of PICA, to be published later this year.

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And at a later date (c. 1925 when the Excelsior cost £16 -10 -6d ) they also introduced:

 

New moderately priced model, specially produced to meet the great

demand for a cheap and reliable instrument. Recommended with

every confidence.

 

The POPULAR. 48 Keys. Mahogany Polished

Rosewood colour. Bone Keys. Tempered steel reeds.

5-fold black leather bellows in square wood box. Covered

Leatherette paper ... ... £8 16 0

 

 

As Stephen says, there is little information on most makers. Things like these descriptions from price lists are very few since most things of this kind were just thrown away.

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And at a later date ... they also introduced:

New moderately priced model ... The POPULAR.

Yes, I didn't bother to quote that later Price List, in my previous post, as it contains a much-reduced range. Model Nos. 1 to 6 all seeming to have been replaced by "The POPULAR" ... £8 16 0 (also available with "Moulded Nickel Tops [metal ends] 22/- extra", as well as "Nickel keys and bushed cloth, 15/- extra"). Model No. 11, "THE NONPAREIL", is also missing.

 

However, it is interesting in that it does continue the numbering sequence into the New Model range :

 

No. 12. 48 Keys, with raised Rosewood ends, 6-fold Morocco, all leather bellows, silver tipped keys ... ... ... £16 16 0

No. 13. 48 Keys, with raised Ebony ends, 6-fold Morocco, all leather bellows, silver tipped keys ... ... ... £17 17 0

No. 13a. 56 Keys, extended up to G, or as a Tenor down to C, specification as above ... £19 19 0

 

Extra folds to bellows up to 8 folds, 5/- per fold extra.

All the above made in Amboyna Wood, with Silver Gilt Fittings, £1 extra.

Raised Nickel Plated Tops to any of the above models, 31/6 extra.

 

For comparison, an Edeophone, with 48 Keys, cost £19 18 6, with 56 Keys, £22 1 0, and with 60 Keys, £23 12 6.

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There are sites, e.g. http://eh.net/hmit/ppowerbp/, which calculate the amount of today's money equivalent, in spending power, to amounts from the past.

 

Using the site mentioned, £16.16.0d is equivalent to £609.58, and the Edeophone at £22.1.0d is the equivalent of £800 in 2002.

 

The amounts in the same amount of pounds and shillings look to me as though they are prices that would originally have been in guineas, which was £1.1.0d.

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You can find an orginal price list (courtesy Kevin Gow) showing all these numbered models (and even a Number 14!) in a section of this site:

 

http://www.concertina.net/guide_lachenal.html

You mean, I could have saved myself all that typing !

 

Then again, there are no Edeophones shown, which considerably diminishes its worth in making a comparison between all the different models produced by Lachenal's, so maybe it was worth it after all. It is interesting that this Price List refers to the Silver Medal, won at the Paris Exhibition, (6 May - 6 November) 1889, but does not mention the Edeophone, Registered Design 129662, entered on the Register on 27th July 1889.

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You mean, I could have saved myself all that typing !

What? And miss a decent transcription? :D . No, you were just too fast for me, and I had to think before I remembered where I'd seen it.

 

The price list on this site came from Joe Astley, and looks like the name may have been added later, so may represent what Lachenal offered via the main UK dealers.

 

Although there seem to be a small smattering of Edeos sometime from about the mid 20,000s (so ~1889?), the bulk seem to come in later in the mid 30,000s. Any thoughts, Stephen?

Edited by wes williams
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  • 5 months later...
...the Oldham Concertina Band...

Some impressive 6-sided, raised-end models included. New Models?

Unfortunately there isn't enough detail to be able to tell for sure, but there seems to be a good chance that they are probably Lachenal's. Indeed, the photograph reminds me somewhat of the mandolin orchestras in Gibson's catalogues of the period, which often bore the slogan "Every one a Gibsonite", so maybe this one could likewise be captioned :

 

"Every one a Lachenalite"

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  • 2 weeks later...

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