Item Type: Concertina
Full Description: A unusual 1840s Prototype "Duet" format concertina, numbered "XOX " and "2", from the pre-1848 "By Her Majesty's.. " period, in which the parts from a large single-action "Stretched Octagon" 47-Key "English" layout instrument has been modified to test various layouts of a type of "Duet" layout, using just three columns of keys from the English format of the original construct. Within the three-column layout of ivory keys 18 RH, 19 RH), the colour coded keys from the original English layout are use thus: RH: 12 White, 6 Black, and LH: 6 White, 9 Black, and 4 Red - whether this related to the reeds that these Keys operate awaits further research. There is a wealth of pencil lettering all over the one-piece action-board and reed-pan area, and evidence of many pivots and pallet oocations being moved, with empty reed positions, and vacant pallet holes. The reeds frames are all large thick rectangular brass, all screwed flat to the inner face of the combined reed-chamber and action board assembly; the reeds are stamped with "Tonic sol-fa" note names, have broad brass tongues (some lead-loaded at the tips), and secured by in-line double small brass rivets - this indicates a continental origin.
Concertina Summary: A unusual 1840s Prototype "Duet" format concertina, numbered "XOX " and "2", from the pre-1848 "By Her Majesty's.. " period, in which the parts from a large single-action "Stretched Octagon" 47-Key "English" layout instrument has been modified to test various layouts of a "Duet" layout.
Owner or Collection: Concertina Museum, Belper
Maker: C Wheatstone
Maker Links: Concertina, Charles Wheatstone prototype, numbered "XOX " and "2". http://www.concertina.com/wheatstone/index.htm
Wheatstone Ledgers Link: Not numbered, not in Ledgers
Region of Manufacture: London
Main Maker's Label Wording: An original Wheatstone label, "By her Majesty's Letters Patent, C Wheatstone, Inventor, 20 Conduit Street, Regent Street, London"
Principal Serial Number: "XOX "
System Type: 47-Key "English" layout originally in the instrument has been modified to test various layouts of a type of "Duet" layout, using just three columns of keys from the English format of the original construct.
Source Catalogue No: The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:C-098.
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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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.