The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:C-002.

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Item Type: Concertina

Summary Labels and Serial Numbers End Frets Fingering System Straps and Holding Devices Fret Baffle Action Board Reeds and Reed Pans Bellows Case and Other


Full Description: This Wheatstone concertina No XXXVIII ('No 38') is of interest since it is the earliest roman-numbered prototype that is of closed-pallet form, though produced shortly after open pallet No XXXII ('No 32') in the sequence of roman-numbered instruments . This “instrument” underwent modifications, (new laminated ends, extended bellows) all completed by the early 1840s, including replacement fretwork of laminated rosewood on the ends, and a replacement Wheatstone “His Majesty's” label. It seems likely that Wheatstone's initial trials using very thin, fret-cut but single-layer rosewood sheets as a cover to pallets and action, as on 'No 38' may have led to distortion, lifting and cracking of the fretwork, despite of the hexagon of support struts glued beneath the edges of the fretwork. Each pallet's area is alphabetically-numbered around the rim of the action board. An examination of the early rosewood-fretted and oval-silver-labelled concertinas in the Concertina Museum Collection (number 98, sold July 1837, Cat No: C-004 ; number 120, sold summer 1837, Cat No: C-005 ; number 122, sold June 1837, Cat No: C-006 ; number 147, sold Aug/Sep 1837, Cat No: C-007 ) shows that all these instruments exhibit a measure of distortion and cracking of their frets

Concertina Summary: Charles Wheatstone No 38

Owner or Collection: Concertina Museum, Belper

Maker: C Wheatstone

Maker Links: Concertina, Charles Wheatstone No 38.

Wheatstone Ledgers Link: Not in Ledgers

Region of Manufacture: London

Main Maker's Label Wording: "By his Majesty's Letters Patent, C Wheatstone, Inventor, 20 Conduit Street, Regent Street, London".

Principal Serial Number: XXXV111 ("38")

System Type: 24-Key English system, in same layout as wheatstone symphonium. (see C:15:1:001 and 002)

Source Catalogue No: The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:C-002.

Maker Details

Wheatstone & Co. were founded in 1824, and survived until 1974. In 1975 the company was refounded by Steve Dickinson.

C. Wheatstone & Co was established in London, England by Charles Wheatstone (uncle to Sir Charles and William Dolman Wheatstone) at the beginning of the 19th Century. They moved to 20 Conduit Street, London, England in 1824. After the death of William in 1862, the firm was taken over by Edward Chidley, a distant relation. Edward Chidley died in 1899, and the firm was then controlled by his sons Edward and Percy. In 1905 the firm moved to 15 West Street.

After the death of the younger Edward Chidley in 1943, part of the firm was sold to Besson & Co., who were taken over by Boosey & Hawkes in 1948. In 1958 they moved to Duncan Terrace, Islington, North London. In 1961 the Duncan Terrace property was sold, and the remains of Wheatstone & Co. were moved to the Boosey & Hawkes factory in Edgware, Middlesex. The company ceased trading on the death of its last employee in 1974.

The remains of the company were purchased by Steve Dickinson in 1975.

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The Concertina Museum Collection

Created August 2009 by Neil Wayne
Last Modified 07 February 2012 by Neil Wayne, Chris Flint, Wes Williams

This page created Tuesday 14 February 2012.