The Concertina Museum: 5.4.7-001

Previous Section Summary Help Next

Item Type: Tutor - Wheatstone's 1844 Patent


Full Description: A copy of the British Museum’s “Instructions for performing on Wheatstone’s Patent Duett Concertina”, c1850, which is on-line in full at There are four Wheatstone Duett concertinas in the Collection: Items C.094 , C.095 , C.096 and C.097 .
Robert Gaskins’ notes from the site state – “Wheatstone's early “duett” concertinas look very much like early Anglo-German instruments, but with different internal construction and a true "duet" arrangement where each button plays the same note on both push and pull. The keyboard is identical to the central notes of the later Maccann Duet Concertina, and anyone who can play a Maccann can pick up a Wheatstone Duett and play immediately in the keys of C or G.
The Wheatstone tutor for this instrument (reproduced in full here) was deposited at the British Museum on 28 July 1855, and was probably published after 1850 (the previous large deposit of Wheatstone publications).
In addition to the tutor, Wheatstone & Co. published twelve books of music for the 24-key duett, all carefully noted in the keys of C and G only (of necessity).  The first six books were stamped at the British Museum 28JY55, at the same time the tutor was accessioned.  Then the next four books were stamped 21DE59, with a new title page as well listing more music for duett.  The last two books were stamped 16AP62.
The earliest known advertisement was placed in The Scotsman (Edinburgh) on Wednesday, 20 December 1854, offering (along with conventional English concertinas) "The Duet Concertina" in mahogany and rosewood, together with its tutor (this was seven months before the tutor was date-stamped at the British Museum). Fifteen months later a longer advertisement by Wheatstone was appearing in the Daily News (London), with the earliest of these found so far in the issue for Thursday, 13 March, 1856, offering the “novel” duett concertina for sale, along with the “tutor and seven books of airs”.

Source Catalogue No: The Concertina Museum: 5.4.7-001

Previous Section Summary Help Next

Please email comments or reports of errors to

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.