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Skreech

Early Lachenal?

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I've just acquired an English concertina labelled 'R J Ward of Liverpool'. From what I've read here I assume this is a Lachenal made for Wards.

 

Inside it has a rivetted action and steel reeds in square ended holders, and all major components have the serial number 568. This doesn't seem to fit with the Lachenal numbering system - do you think is is a very early Lachenal, or by another maker? Any ideas as to a date?

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Everything about it says it definitely isn't a Lachenal, but I do have a Joseph Scates that would be similar, in which case it would date from the late 1840s. I'll see if I can dig out the Scates, for comparison.

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I guess the mere fact that it has a rivetted action, rules it out as being made by Lachenal.

That, the square-ended reedframes and the hand-cut Wheatstone-style fretwork.

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Thanks.

 

From my very limited knowledge I didn't think Lachenal was right, but a post in another thread implied that all JD Ward instruments were re-labelled Lachenals.

 

The fretwork pattern looks idientical to the Scates I found a picture of. But does that mean anything? I'm guessing that printed paper fretting patterns would have been available from component suppliers.

 

I'm starting to think that JD Ward's did infact build instruments themselves - the internal label does say 'instrument manufacturer', and I found a copy of a period advert with the slogan 'Buy direct from the manufacturer'. If they were making small volumes for the local maket it would explain the low serial number.

Edited by Skreech

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Thanks.

 

From my very limited knowledge I didn't think Lachenal was right, but a post in another thread implied that all JD Ward instruments were re-labelled Lachenals.

 

The fretwork pattern looks idientical to the Scates I found a picture of. But does that mean anything? I'm guessing that printed paper fretting patterns would have been available from component suppliers.

 

I'm starting to think that JD Ward's did infact build instruments themselves - the internal label does say 'instrument manufacturer', and I found a copy of a period advert with the slogan 'Buy direct from the manufacturer'. If they were making small volumes for the local maket it would explain the low serial number.

 

See my post in this forum next to yours. Your photos look similar to those I posted and its a Wheatstone. Burnt Oak.

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OK, I've now done a bit more research, and have convinced myself that it is a Wheatstone.

 

The serial number isn't listed in the ledgers, but the numbers either side would date it to 1842. It is outwardly identical to instruments of that period in the Horniman Collection, and that date would be consistent with the square reed frames (I need to check whether the reeds are actually steel or nickel silver). Does that sound reasonable, or am I missing something very obvious? (I'm completely new to the world of concertinas)

 

If it is a Wheatstone with such a low serial number, does that make it historically important? I.e. should I stop restoring it myself and take it to a professional? (I'm a professional violin restorer, but I've never touched the innards of a concertina. So far I have only started patching the fretwork, and only use hide glue, so everything I have done is reversible if necessary.)

Edited by Skreech

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OK, I've checked the reeds - 8 are steel, two are brass and the rest are nickel silver (or some silverish non-ferrous metal) So I think that confirms a pre-1848 date?

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Hi

I've seen a Joseph Scates concertina with a serial number within the 500 range with the same action as your R J Ward. It had a Joseph Scates label with an 85, Renshaw Street, Liverpool address. Scates was at that address from about May 1849 to early Feb when he seems to have been at 46, Grafton Street Dublin.

best of luck working out who actually made it.

chris

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