The Concertina Museum: C15.3.1-001

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Item Type: A 17-Key Demian Accordéon from the Wheatstone Laboratory Collection, King's College, London


Full Description: This rare and early Demian Accordéon originates from the remains of the “Wheatstone Museum Collection”, King's College, London, from where it was disposed of in the 1960s. It bears the exposed circular pearl pallets and ebony levers that influenced Charles Wheatstone when he created the first “Open Pallet” concertina in the early 1830s. Arguably one of the earliest “Open Pallet” Wheatstone concertinas also formed part of the 1960s disposal of instruments by King's, and is now in the Concertina Museum Collection as Item C.001 along with many other examples of his early musical and scientific prototypes. The 2009 Galpin Society Journal paper by Neil Wayne (Galpin Society Journal Vol 61, May 2009), at ) contains much detail on the relevance of these early Demian accordéons in the evolution of Wheatstone's Concertina.
This Instrument bears the external stamp of Keith, Prowse & Co, an instrument dealer who later began to manufacture their own concertinas - see the Museum's Prowse section here: .
During its study and use in the 1830s and ’40s in Wheatstone's Museum collection at King's College, this instrument was fitted with three left-hand end brass buttons and associated wooden valve-pallets, two of which allowed air to access two sets of chordal reed-plates and one accessing a central air-valve. The instrument is labelled within in black ink and curliqued font ‘No 4’.
There is a much later pencilled annotation on the inner face of the action board, added by the King's College laboratory technician who, in the 1960s, rescued this and many other Wheatstone instruments from the remains of the Wheatstone Museum collection when its rooms and attics were finally cleared; it reads “Weatstone Collection. Aquired and repaired May 1963. DG.” (sic)
The instrument measures 102 x 317mm, has 4-fold bellows with overlaid blue papers atop underlying green papers.

Source Catalogue No: The Concertina Museum: C15.3.1-001

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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.